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Corona del Mar Today: Harbor View parents want a top principal

August 25, 2012|By Amy Senk
  • A group of parents and teachers met with district officials to express their thoughts on Harbor View Elementary School and what they want to see in a new principal.
A group of parents and teachers met with district officials… (Amy Senk, Daily…)

A group of about 35 parents and teachers met with school district officials including Supt. Fred Navarro for 80 minutes last week, expressing their thoughts on Harbor View Elementary School and what they want to see in a new principal.

John R. Caldecott, executive director of human resources, led the meeting in the multipurpose room of the school at 900 Goldenrod Ave.

"We want you to be honest, open and critical," Caldecott told the group.

He then explained four questions, including listing the strengths of the school, the school's greatest needs and critical issues and leadership qualities sought in a new principal. The questions were written on oversized pieces of paper, and everyone in attendance was asked to write their answers on the sheets of papers, then to use color-coded stickers to mark the responses they felt were most important.

Some of the answers were to the point.

"Progressive," one person wrote.

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"Upbeat," another wrote.

"Someone comfortable with working in an affluent demographic," one statement said.

"Real experience in modern classrooms," said another.

A few people wanted to keep the school's flag deck ceremonies daily while another wanted them limited to once a week. Some asked for no-bullying and open-door policies, while another wanted foreign language programs.

Many parents asked for a principal with experience both in primary and upper grades, with both gifted and special needs students.

The system, Caldecott said, was used during the recent superintendent search, and again within Andersen and Kaiser elementary schools during their principal searches earlier this summer.

About 100 people attended Andersen's meeting, and about 65 attended Kaiser's, but the summer holidays likely lowered attendance for the Harbor View meeting, Caldecott said.

"I think it's important for people to know their thoughts are being heard," said teacher Sabrina Ericastilla. "We need a good principal. We're open for some new growth and new change and great collaboration."

The responses will be tallied and used to create a pool of candidates to be interviewed, Caldecott said.

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