Bedford school district officials are narrowing in on their candidate to become the next principal of Pound Ridge Elementary School.
Peter Politi, the school’s current principal, is stepping down from the position at the end of the month. Politi has been the principal at the elementary school for five years. Prior to that, he served twenty years as a teacher and principal for the Newburgh city school district and six years as a principal at the Lakeview Elementary School in Mahopac.
Politi said a number of factors played a part in his decision to retire.
“My youngest son just graduated from college,” Politi, 55, said. “I have four sons and we got them all through college and they are all out in the world now and my wife and I decided now is the best time. I’ve had health issues the past several years and I’m doing great now. But when you have health issues, you look at life and all the possibilities.”
Jere Hochman, the superintendent of Bedford schools, said the district received more than 100 responses from the job listing that was sent out for the position more than a month ago.
Qualities the district expressed that it wants from candidates included an exceptional leader who leads based on what is best for the children, articulates and promotes high expectations for the achievement of every student, creates an inviting school environment for staff and has experience implementing effective teaching and learning strategies grounded in research and
based upon data analyses and student results.
“After screening those candidates who had the appropriate certification and related experience, we did a further screening of many candidates via telephone," Hochman said of the initial rush of applicants.
The district then whittled its list of applicants down to eight candidates—now up to eight candidates will come in for the next round of interviews which includes a group interview and writing exercise.
Finalists will meet with faculty and staff, parents, students and central office administrators.
“I think it is critical that there be faculty, staff, student and public involvement on the front end of the search to determine the expectations and profile of the candidate that is the best match for the school,” Hochman said. “While there are certainly characteristics, skills and expectations that I have for a principal, it is also a process of matchmaking with those who will work side by side with the principal daily, as well as an effort to match the right candidate with the culture of the school and it’s continued progress.”
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