Francis Howell North Searches for a New Principal for the 2022-23 School Year


Credit to Matt Wells

Dr. Lucas Lammer looks up a student in infinite campus in his office.

By Morgan Chairs

This year, like last year, came with a lot of changes. However, one change the students of Francis Howell North didn’t expect was the resignation of the head principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler. With Hostetler’s absence came the need to fill the position of North’s head principal.

“Sometimes, we have administrators that have to resign or retire at the very last minute because of some unforeseen circumstance and that’s kind of what happened here,” District Chief of Human Resources Lisa Simpkins said. 

To become a principal, candidates have to meet certain criteria in addition to having the certifications that are required by the state of Missouri in order to be a principal. The criteria consists of having experience teaching at the high school level, being an assistant or associate principal and knowing what administrative work is like before they step into that head principal role. However, those aren’t the only thing HR looks for in candidates.

“I want to see somebody who has a strong vision for our building,” Associate Principal Erin Steep said. “Somebody who understands what makes North unique, and is excited about that and understands how to channel that into the future.”

The process of finding a principal is a tedious process that takes a lot of time. Candidates go  through multiple different interviews, some being as short as 30 minutes, others being as long as two hours. After a long list of interviews, the process doesn’t end there. The final decision is made by the school board when the candidate is presented to them.

“I’ll explain why we thought that this is the best candidate for the position,” Simpkins said. “Then the Board of Education will vote to hire or not hire our recommendation, and then once the board approves that, then we’re able to announce that person to the staff [and] the community.”

Since the replacement was last minute, most potential candidates already are under contracts with other school districts. This means North is more likely to have a new principal this coming 2022-2023 school year.

“Our goal is to post the position and start this process around the end of November, early December,” Simpkins said, “So that we can possibly name the new principal by January or February, depending on when we get started.”