Candidate for Principal Withdraws from Consideration

Andrew Vester, Web Opinions Editor

Shelly Somers, the principal of Central Middle School in Greenwich, withdrew herself from consideration for the position of principal at Staples High School.  The statement of Somers’ withdrawal was made by school officials on May 27.

The unexpected announcement came a day after Somers met with students, teachers and other members of the Staples community.

“It’s disappointing news because I was hoping that on my last day on the job, June 30, that I could leave knowing the school is in good hands and ready to move forward to even greater heights,” Principal John Dodig said.

This setback in the search means that a future principal will not be selected by the start of the 2015-16 school year.  In an email to parents, Superintendent Elliott Landon thanked the search committee and all those involved in the selection process for their work and stated that the school district will now seek an interim principal for Staples until the next candidate is located.

“I’m surprised that none of the candidates for principal were able to take the job this year,” Emily Lustbader ’16 said.  “I was hoping there would be a full time principal for next school year rather than an interim one.”

Jason Streiter ’17 added a similar take on the situation.

“I’m surprised that two people have turned down the offer,” Streiter said.  “We’re a great school with great kids, it’s a great job and I’m not sure why they would turn it down.”

According to Westport Now and Landon, Somers called to withdraw her application after meeting with Board of Education members but did not provide the reasoning behind her decision.

“In the old days, there would be 100 applicants for a position like this,” Dodig said.  “Today, you would be lucky to get a dozen applications, of which you can locate two or three or four candidates who really look good on paper. I think that fewer and fewer people want to be a high school principal.”

Dodig added, ”I think the world has changed.  Nonetheless, I’m confident that Dr. Landon and Marge Cion will find an interim principal who can lead this place for another year while the search is continued.”