Finalists withdraw from Barrington High School principal search

District starts a second search process

By Josh Bickford
Posted 6/24/22

Round two. 

The Barrington School Department recently began a second search process for the next Barrington High School principal. 

The first search, which began shortly after current …

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Finalists withdraw from Barrington High School principal search

District starts a second search process

Posted

Round two. 

The Barrington School Department recently began a second search process for the next Barrington High School principal. 

The first search, which began shortly after current BHS Principal Joe Hurley announced he was retiring, yielded two finalists but both individuals later withdrew their names from the process. Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said the district has already started the second search process and, at last check, had about a half dozen applicants. 

“My gut tells me we will keep looking until we get the right person,” Messore said. “I’m optimistic.”

Eight people applied for the BHS principal job during the first search. A special screening committee reviewed all eight applications and recommended two finalists. Messore said he spoke with both finalists.

“One indicated that he had some job offers pending,” Messore said, adding that the applicant withdrew his name a short time later.

The second finalist scheduled a visit to Barrington High School; he met with staff members and others at the school. But that finalist also withdrew his name. When asked why the candidate withdrew from the process, Messore said it was possible that he felt comfortable where he was.

Barrington has hired NESDEC (New England School Development Council) to assist with the search process. The June edition of the NESDEC newsletter includes a posting for the BHS principal’s job. It reads, in part “The Superintendent of Barrington Public Schools invites highly-qualified, innovative candidates to apply for the position of High School Principal. Barrington Public Schools is rated #1 in Rhode Island and #289 in national rankings….”

Messore said it has been a long time since Barrington conducted a search for its high school principal. Over the last 40 years, Barrington High School has had two principals: Hurley and his predecessor, the late John Gray. Messore said he is confident the district will find the right person for the job. Messore said there has been no interest in the job from within the district. 

When asked if Barrington Public Schools was looking to hire a woman to run the high school, Messore said: “We try to attract the best qualified candidate. That’s number one. We always look at diversity… but we’re trying to attract the best possible candidate for this position.”

The deadline to submit an application for the job is July 6. Messore said the screening committee members will meet on July 7 and 8 to review the applications and then interviews are expected to begin on July 12. The screening committee will interview all individuals who are qualified for the position, Messore said. 

Following that stage of the process, the committee will recommend to Messore two or possibly three finalists. 

“The goal is to have someone in place by the start of school,” Messore said. The superintendent said regardless of the status of the search for the next BHS principal, the high school will open on time in the fall. 

Messore said that the district will conduct as many searches as is necessary to find the right person for the job. Messore said BPS officials had to complete two search processes before finding the right fit for the Hampden Meadows School assistant principal’s position. In the end, the district hired Coleen Smith. 

“Coleen is an experienced educator and administrator,” stated a recent email from Messore. “Coleen knows how a school functions as a Professional Learning Community. She is very excited to continue to work and grow with the Hampden Meadows School community…We are looking forward to Coleen starting with us on July 1, 2022.”

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