Wildwood School principal job vacant after finalist drops out
by BRIAN NADIG
The Wildwood School Local School Council was hoping to select a new principal earlier this week, but it appears that neither of the two finalists will be taking the job.
The LSC had scheduled a special meeting on Sept. 17 to vote on the candidates.
After the meeting, the council announced that only one of the two finalists, Jamieson School assistant principal Susan Paik, would be moving forward for further consideration before a final decision was made. However, Paik later notified the council that she was withdrawing her candidacy for personal reasons.
The other finalist was Marisol Negron, a former interim principal at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.
"On behalf of the Wildwood community, we thanked her (Paik) for the time and effort she dedicated to the Wildwood principal selection process.
"The Wildwood LSC will meet with the Local School Council Relations and Network 1 next Wednesday (Sept. 26) at 5 p.m. to determine the next steps in the process. As soon as the council has an update, we will share that information with the Wildwood community," the LSC said in a Sept. 20 statement.
The council’s options include continuing the selection process this fall or asking the school system to appoint an acting principal for the rest of this school year, resuming the search in the spring. Former Bell School principal Robert Guercio was appointed to serve as Wildwood’s administrator in charge during the search.
The council began its search after Mary Beth Cunat resigned in June and took a principal’s position at a private school in Rockford.
During the public comment portion of the council’s Sept. 17 meeting, a parent said that the council should make sure the next principal has the proper amount of experience with the International Baccalaureate Program, which is the focus of the school’s curriculum. "I don’t feel either one of these candidates fits for what we need at Wildwood," she said.
Another parent recommended that the next principal consider making the curriculum more rigorous so that Wildwood is "competitive with suburban schools." She said that some Wildwood graduates who enrolled at a private or suburban public high school have had to go to summer school to be properly prepared for high school.
The LSC asks that school-related questions and comments be e-mailed to the council at lscwild email@example.com.
The council’s next regular meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the school library.