Woodrow Narrows Principal Search

Woodrow — File Photo

By Bruce Felps

The Dallas ISD school year commences in two weeks, and Woodrow remains absent a principal since Ruth Vail’s departure.

The search for a new principal, though, could come to an end this week, according to Susan Schuerger, a board member of the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation. The foundation plays a key role in the selection process by interviewing candidates and making recommendations to DISD management.

She responded via e-mail to a query about the search process. From her answer, we don’t know who’s in the running but we do know who’s not.

We are not permitted to share information about the interviews other than to say there were three applicants who made the final cut to be considered.

I will say that Ms. Escanilla did not interview, and I’m glad — much as I like her, she is doing great things at North Dallas and has much more to do. They need her there and she is, I think, excited about continuing to implement her plans and seeing what happens.

We are hoping that it [the Woodrow principal search] will be days, as in definitely this week. There is an interim named Luz Lozano — she is a “professional” interim principal for the district, available and willing to serve at schools throughout when needed — who has gamely stepped in but I think the complexity of Woodrow — schedules, new staffing ratios, the huge and slow-moving construction project, IB and three other academies — has been a bit of a shock. It would be to anyone!

Woodrow is under the supervision of Cynthia Goodsell — the West Secondary Learning Community director — and she ran the interview process exceptionally professionally and will forward a recommendation based on input of the panel containing parents, community leaders, teachers, and administrators — a large and very informed group from Woodrow — to the superintendent.

Even though Alan King is only the acting superintendent, he is making decisions, and in this case, with the tremendous support and vocal input of the Woodrow Nation, along with the positive guidance of Ms. Goodsell, he will have an easy job I think, only needing to respond to the thoughtful recommendations he receives.

I really like Alan King. I served on the Citizen’s Budget Review Commission and he is smart, a relentless worker, a clear and independent thinker, and, I believe, he is well aware of what he knows and what he needs to ask for input and advice on.

I sound like a cheerleader for DISD, and in part that is true. There have been a lot of problems this summer, and I’m not happy about how things happened, or with some of the progress on things that should be getting done.  

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