School district begins process to replace retiring principals

Published Feb 9, 2018 at 4:00pm

The Rome school district is looking to fill the positions of two elementary school principals and an elementary assistant principal who are retiring this summer.

Advertisements have been placed, and applicants are being sought by Feb. 22. The district then will conduct its regular screening of candidates, and form a committee for interviews, Director of Employee Relations Frank Conestabile said Wednesday

Conestabile said the district will be hiring two elementary principals in relation to the upcoming retirements of Bellamy school Principal Nancy Opperman and Ridge Mills school Principal Sheila Spencer. Their retirement dates include June 30 for Opperman and Aug. 31 for Spencer, as listed in a resolution for the Board of Education in 2015.

The elementary assistant principal opening, meanwhile, stems from the upcoming retirement of Denti school Assistant Principal Sandra Williams. She also is retiring at the end of August, based on a 2015 resolution for the school board.

Salaries will be based on experience and background of those selected for the positions, in conjunction with union contracts. In the local area overall, salaries for elementary principals are in the $85,000-$100,000 range, said Conestabile. Salaries for elementary assistant principals in the local area are in the $65,000-$75,000 range, he added.

Conestabile said he was not sure of the timeframe for the school board to consider approval of persons for the positions following the district’s screening and interviews. He noted “obviously we’re going to move the process in a timely manner to get it completed.”

The three who will be retiring each have several years of administrative experience in the district. Spencer has been principal of Ridge Mills since 2000. Opperman was appointed Bellamy principal in January 2007 after being named interim principal at the start of the 2006-07 school year. For Williams, who was appointed as an assistant principal in 2013, some of her prior positions with the district have included director of instructional programs and athletic director.

Conestabile acknowledged it is unusual to be filling two principal positions within the same general period. But having such longer-term staff members who have remained in the Rome school system is “a good thing for the district” in terms of continuity for educating students, he observed. For school districts that have to frequently seek new staff because of employee turnover, it can be “very disruptive,” Conestabile said. The Rome district overall has staff who “look to stay a long time,” he added.