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Date of Issue: December 07, 2006

New Year, new principal at AME

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Anna Maria Elementary School Principal Kathy Hayes

Anna Maria Elementary School Principal Kathy Hayes has announced she will be leaving her position at the Island school Feb. 1 to become the principal at B.D. Gullet Elementary School at Lakewood Ranch.

Hayes notified parents Nov. 28 of her new position with a computer-generated, recorded phone call, saying she has always hoped to open a new school.

"It had always been an ultimate goal. It's different when you get to open a new school from the ground up," said Hayes. "I'm looking forward to cultivating the leadership team and setting the school's mission in place. That's exciting to me."

Gullet Elementary is one of two new elementary schools slated to open in fall 2007 in east Manatee County.

The principal's job at AME will be advertised by the Manatee County School District for 10 days, starting Monday, Dec. 4, bringing the process to fill the position up to the start of the school district's winter break.

District director of elementary schools and former AME principal Tim Kolbe said that the selection process would begin after the holidays.

Kolbe explained that the interview process is normally conducted by a committee that will include a teacher, one representative from the school's support staff and an AME parent representative, in addition to district human resources director Darcy Hopko, coordinator of school leadership development Anthony DiBell and himself.

Once the committee has narrowed the field to three applicants, a community forum will be scheduled. Kolbe stated that school staff and parents and community members usually gather in separate rooms and each applicant is given 30 minutes to meet with both groups. Participants are then able to provide input using a rating card.

Kolbe noted that if all went smoothly, AME could have a new principal selected by Jan. 22. He did add that Manatee County Superintendent Roger Dearing retains the right to administratively appoint a replacement or transfer a principal from another school.

Dearing told The Islander that this occurs when only one of the applicants is an existing district principal in good standing, as is the case with Hayes' appointment to Gullet.

Dearing said that Hayes was the only principal to apply for the position at Gullet. Other applicants were either assistant principals or teachers. In this case, Dearing has the right to conduct the interview and present the candidate as his nominee for the position.

The job posting is open to principals in other school districts, and the process depends on how many qualified candidates apply.