Downs Announced New Head Principal of Francis Howell North

By Jake Chiarelli

Andrew Downs
Andrew Downs

According to Dr. Darlene Jones and Chief Resource Officer Steve Griggs in a staff-wide announcement this morning, Andrew Downs will be the new Head Principal of Francis Howell North High School beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

“I started here eight  years ago, I was actually hired on by Dr. Jones. I loved the people here, and what was going on. When I got here, my love of the school grew infinitely,” current Assistant Principal Downs said.

Administration from the headquarters of the Francis Howell School District arrived this morning to make the announcement to the staff in the Learning Commons.

“I’m looking forward to next year and another chance to work with the students and staff here,” Downs said.

The selection process for next year’s principal began in December, after Darlene Jones announced her retirement. The position opening was posted online. Criteria for the Head Principal includes, but are not limited to: prior leadership experience, communication skills, a Master’s Degree, at least five years worth of teaching experience, principal certification, a resume and a personal letter.

“I’m looking forward to next year and another chance to work with the students and staff here,” Downs said.

FHSD Board of Education members and executive cabinet interviewed the applicants in a screening interview. Then, the candidates were interviewed in front of a total of 15 parents, teachers, and members of FHN Administration. The final interview, which narrowed the choices down to four, was conducted by Superintendent Pam Sloan and the District’s executive cabinet. There, the superintendent and cabinet wrote recommendations for particular candidates that were reviewed by Board members at a closed meeting on Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. From there,  Board members voted on  who would become FHN’s new principal. Griggs, who is part of the executive cabinet, hopes the school receives the news of the new principal well.

“I hope they’re very excited about the new principal,” Steve Griggs said. “It’s very important we match the principal with the school and the school’s culture.”