Finding the right fit: Lehman High stakeholders offer input on next principal hire

As the search begins for Lehman High’s next principal, some parents feel whoever obtains the role will have big shoes to fill.

That was the feeling among stakeholders during a workshop held June 5 at Lehman High where district officials gathered input on the traits necessary for the next Lobo leader. Whoever is hired will be the fifth principal to lead the school within the last decade.

The workshop was held roughly three weeks after Denisha Presley, who had served as the school’s principal for the past two years, was hired as principal at San Marcos High. Many parents credited Presley with promoting high academic achievement and attendance rates over the last few years. Teachers and parents say they expect the trend to continue with their next leader.

J.R. Reveley, an art teacher at Lehman, said he hopes the district hires from within Lehman High by promoting a teacher or an already-existing assistant principal. Reveley began his teaching career at Lehman in 2010.

“I just think that I have realized over all that time that it should maybe be a principal from within the existing staff,” Reveley said. “They’ve got the experience with everything that is working right now. They could just take it and run.”

Reveley said he noticed an uptick in the attendance rate at Lehman High, which he says is a direct result of the principal’s leadership. Reveley said he hopes the next principal promotes positive morale amongst teachers and is familiar with Lehman’s needs as a school.

Along with offering verbal dialogue, district officials allowed parents and teachers to write their thoughts, ideas, suggestions and goals for the next principal hire. Many wrote their hope that the next principal supports teachers’ goals in the classroom in addition to test scores and academic achievement.

Teachers and parents said they want a principal who will be proactive in teachers’ and students’ lives. They hope the next principal is one who visits classrooms, gets to know every teacher and makes an effort to be present at students’ school activities.

“She (Presley) was a people person,”said Hays CISD superintendent Eric Wright. “The kids loved her, and the faculty loved her. She had a culture of pride and excellence.”

Wright and a hiring committee will be deciding on a recommendation for the position in the next few weeks. District leaders expect to obtain approval from the school board for a possible hire by the end of June.

“I’m looking for someone now who is kind of like Superman or Superwoman,” Wright said. “Someone who can do it all who really like kids and will be there for our teachers.”

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