BENNINGTON — The Bennington School District Board has begun the process of finding a new principal for the Molly Stark School after current principal Donna Mackenzie-King submitted her retirement letter last month.
"The committee has been formed," said Southwest Vermont Superintendent Jim Culkeen.
The committee, which will begin meeting next week, is made up of three board members (Jackie Prue, Marie DeCoff, and Genevieve Plunkett), two teachers, one paraeducator, one sitting BSD principal, and two parents.
Applications for the principal position closed on Friday, Jan. 29, said Culkeen, and the school received 19 in total, seven of which meet all of the requirements the school had put forth in the posting.
Among those requirements were a master's degree in education administration or a related field, proper certification in the state of Vermont, "Successful experience at the principal level," "Demonstrated school leadership experience in using data and evidence-based decision making to provide leadership in a multi-tiered system of support to meet the needs of all students," "Outstanding demonstrated personnel, resource, and school management skills, including budget development," "Knowledge of national and Vermont standards with grade level expectations for elementary curriculum and assessments," "Strong expertise in curriculum development, elementary instruction, and technology integration," "Experience in supportive supervision and evaluation of professional and support staff," and "Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills with students, staff, parents, and community.
Culkeen said the committee was free to alter the requirements if members thought a bigger pool of applicants was necessary.
Mackenzie-King was the principal of the now defunct Catamount Elementary School until 2007, when she became principal at Molly Stark. She also spent one year as principal of both Catamount and Bennington Elementary School.
SVSU Chief Financial Officer Rick Pembroke also updated the board regarding the solar consortium. Several months ago, the board had approved allowing the consortium to negotiate a contract for no less than 30 percent savings annually. "The contract they were negotiating fell through on a couple levels," he said, "The developer didn't get the necessary permit... But they have married us with another developer, Ampersand Energy Partners (which is based in Boston), at a 24 percent discount. If the board is still interested then I would recommend that they go with this. This is still the best discount available, and is better than we've seen anywhere else."
He said there were several other bids, all in the 15-18 percent range.
Pembroke also confirmed that the contract would be transferable, in the event that the SU dissolved due to Act 46. Every school board in the SVSU joined the consortium except Shaftsbury.