BCS Principal to Leave Birmingham, District Looks to Hire Replacement by January 2013
Beginning Aug. 18, Birmingham Covington School's Assistant Principal Patricia Chinn will serve as interim principal for the remainder of 2012.
Hartley has led BCS — Birmingham's combined elementary and middle school designed for students looking for a rigorous approach to science and interdisciplinary learning — for the past three years.
According to a note sent to parents late Tuesday night, Hartley is taking an assistant superintendent position with Swartz Creek Community Schools, part of the Genesee Intermediate School District.
"While I am excited to be named the new Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Swartz Creek School District, I do leave BCS with a heavy heart," Hartley wrote home to parents and students. "My three years here working with our staff and our families have proven to be three dynamic years I will never forget."
According to Birmingham's Deputy Superintendent Paul DeAngelis, Birmingham will take its time finding Hartley's replacement.
DeAngelis said Hartley will remain with the district until Aug. 17, working with central office administration in developing a transition plan for BCS and its teachers and administrators.
Then, beginning Aug. 18, BCS's current assistant principal, Patricia Chinn, will step in as interim principal for the first half of the school year. A new permanent principal isn't expected to be be hired until the end of January 2013.
"You may be asking why we are not selecting a permanent candidate prior to the start of the school year," DeAngelis said. "We understand the importance of process and involvement of stakeholders when selecting leaders for our schools. Thus, we want to have the appropriate amount of time to be thorough."
"We are also extremely confident in Mrs. Chinn's leadership, and the leadership of staff and parents in the BCS school community," he added.
DeAngelis also said the district will not be waiting until spring to hire someone new so that the new principal has an extra semester to get to know students, staff and parents.
"The district will be entering its next strategic planning cycle in the spring of 2013, and a mid-year start will allow the principal to be actively involved in the process," DeAngelis noted.
DeAngelis noted that changes in leadership can create uncertainties, especially less than month before the 2012-13 school year is set to begin. However, DeAngelis said the community will be actively involved in the hiring process.
"We are committed to exhausting all efforts to identify and hire a great community leader for BCS," he said. "We are committed to involving the community in the selection process."
Hartley said he's confident the district will find the right person to lead BCS going forward.
"I want to thank you for accepting me as your child's principal three years ago and for making me a better person and leader," Hartley said. "The one thing I will miss the most is seeing our learners grow each day. BCS is a special place because of all of you."
Screenings, interviews scheduled for fall 2012
In his note to parents, DeAngelis outlined the district's timeline for hiring a new principal of BCS.
- August: Beginning in August, the district's Human Resources department will announce to staff the process of selecting an interim assistant principal to replace Chinn. DeAngelis said the district expects to fill this position by the week of Aug. 20.
- October: In early October, the district will post the principal position, advertising the open position for three weeks. During that time, students, staff and parents will have opportunities to help develop the profile by which candidates will be compared and evaluated.
- October-November: Candidates will be screened and interviewed, including a review of resumes and writing samples, reference checks and interviews. Students, staff and parents will be selected to participate in certain interviews.
- December: Recommendations will be submitted and Birmingham's new superintendent, Daniel Nerad, will make a final decision ahead of the school board's Dec. 4 meeting. The school board will act on Nerad's final recommendation at that meeting.
- January: The final candidate will begin working on or before the start of the second semester, Jan. 28, 2013.
More details of the search process — including how parents and students can get involved — will be released in late September.
Birmingham Public Schools should be used to hiring new leadership. In the spring and early summer, the district hired Nerad after several months of searching and interviews. Nerad replaced former superintendent David Larson, who took a position in Illinois earlier this year.
In addition, Birmingham named four new principals during the 2011-12 school year: Jason Clinkscale at Berkshire Middle School, Deana Lanscaster at Seaholm High School, Jamii Hitchcock at Beverly Elementary and Susan Crocker at Pembroke Elementary.