No formal decision has been made, but school officials seem confident the Wake County Board of Education is ready to punt on the small-school experiment at East Wake.
School officials are so confident that Area Superintendent Ed McFarland is moving ahead with efforts to build a committee of parents, educators and community leaders to advise school system officials on how a unified East Wake High School should work.
School system leaders say they will choose a new principal soon and they will not consider one of the four principals currently at East Wake out of concerns over favoritism.
We believe there are three experienced school administrators at East Wake who deserve consideration.
They’ve built relationships in the community and, in at least one case, they’ve been here since the small-school concept was implemented. Another is a native of eastern Wake County and graduated from East Wake High School prior to the small-school concept experiment. The third has risen through the ranks, held other administrative positions and leads one of the most successful of the small schools in terms of academic achievement.
None of that is to say that there’s not a better candidate out there. Maybe there is. Still, we question the wisdom of ruling out three able candidates right off the top. The school system should impose limits on itself this early in the process. And we think it unlikely that any of those professionals would desert any of his students because they aren’t from his previous school.
Committee members and school system administrators should insist on finding a leader committed to the East Wake community, one who’s willing to commit to the area and to the school for the long-term rather than using East Wake as a stepping stone to another more high-profile job. They should also seek someone who has high expectations for student performance and behavior and has the ability to articulate those philosophies to a number of constituencies, including students, parents and the larger community.
They and committee members should listen carefully to that vision and work to support the new leader. Without unbridled support, no principal figures to reach the goals they set for themselves and the school.