Scottsbluff superintendent seeks staff, student feedback during search for new principal

Scottsbluff Public Schools Superintendent Rick Myles

Finding the next Scottsbluff High School principal is about to begin, but to ensure the new hire meets the needs at SHS, district superintendent Rick Myles said it will take communication.

The Scottsbluff Public Schools Board of Education accepted Scottsbluff High School principal Mike Halley’s letter of resignation at the Jan.7 meeting. Halley submitted his resignation after he was offered the superintendent’s position with Valentine Community Schools on Dec. 19. At the VCS board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8, the board approved Halley’s two-year contract for $145,500 beginning July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2022.

“Mike has been looking and considering possible moves and I’m excited for him,” Myles said. “It’s going to be hard to replace him.”

As the process to find Halley’s successor enters the planning stages, Myles tells the Star-Herald he wants to make sure people’s voices are heard throughout this decision process.

“The high school principal position, like all leadership positions, is critical and almost always will take some steps to ensure that voices are heard on the decision,” he said.

He is currently in the process of meeting with the leadership team, parent representatives and students to determine the process going forward. The district has a couple options they can explore to find Halley’s successor, including advertising externally or looking internally.

“Right now, the position is not open,” Myles said. “As I meet with these groups, we’ll look at staff internally and if that looks like something we want to examine more fully.”

Myles said sometimes there are qualified applicants internally that he can appoint while other times it takes multiple advertisements to find someone. Thus, the process can be expeditious or leisurely.

Regardless of the time line, Myles is focused on finding the right successor who can continue to move the high school forward. As part of his search, he wants to have conversations with others about characteristics that make a good leader and a good high school principal.

“For me, the single most important characteristic is integrity of a leader,” Myles said. “That’s something Mike Halley has modeled really well at the high school.”

The goal is to have someone hired before the summer.

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