With only a few months before the school year began, the GCHS administration didn’t have much time to advertise and interview candidates for the position, according to GCHS Associate Principal Cari Caylor.
Caylor said that rather than trying to find a new candidate, they offered her the position as a temporary appointment.
“[GCHS Principal] Steve [Hren] recommended that I do a one-year interim position,” she said.
After serving as the GCHS Career and Technical Education Director for eight years, Caylor had the certifications necessary for the job. It was just a matter of if she was willing to step up and take on the additional responsibility.
“A lot of people warned me that I may absolutely hate it,” she said. “This gave me a year to see if I enjoyed it.”
Hren said that this spring the school district advertised the position and went through the normal hiring process.
“We got a committee of teachers together to screen the applicants,” he said. “There weren’t any applicants that stood out the way Cari did.”
Caylor was offered the job permanently, and she accepted.
Caylor said she enjoys the job, despite the fact that it can sometimes be hard.
“It’s a very labor intensive job,” she said. “You have all the responsibilities during a regular school day, and another whole life after school with extracurricular activities and sports and everything that goes on at the high school.”
That was the main reason, Caylor said, that she didn’t apply for the job in 2009 when LeVar was hired, even though it was the next logical step in her career. She also had a young child and worried about the time commitment the job would require.
“Lucas was only two-and-a-half,” she said. “Now he’s in school and my older sons have moved out. I figured it was now or never.”
With Caylor taking over the associate principal duties, GCHS shop teacher Jim Stocks will be helping on the administrative end.
“He took over [Career and Technical Education] and attendance,” she said.
Caylor said the school’s administration is hoping to implement some big changes at GCHS this year.
“We’re going to move the associate principal into more of a leadership role,” she said. “We want to get myself and the principal into the classroom to observe more.”
Hren said that observing classes is a very important part of an administrator’s job, but it isn’t always easy to make it happen.
“We always try to get into the classrooms, to understand what the teachers are doing, but it doesn’t [always] happen,” he said.
Hren said that Caylor is in the process of developing a specific school-wide discipline process that the administration hopes will help cut down on the need for one of the principals to always be in his or her office.
Hren said the problem stems from the lack of a process for teachers to follow before resorting to sending students to the principal’s office.
Caylor said she is looking forward to the upcoming year.
“This is my best fit,” she said. “For some reason, I’m just really good at working with kids at this age level.”