Superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools Dr. Karen List announced Friday afternoon that Principal Dr. Donald J. Slater will leave effective Sept. 28, to take over the role of Chief Operating Officer for the Hartford Public Schools.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen List stated in a release announcing Slater's departure, "This Cabinet level position involves oversight of facilities, transportation, nutrition, security, and technology with Directors from each of these areas reporting to Dr. Slater. He is ready for a Central Office position and this is certain to be an exciting opportunity for him and the Hartford community."
The announcement regarding Slater's departure was made public after Hall’s faculty and other staff members were notified at a meeting on Friday.
Slater, 47, took over as interim principal of Hall 10 years ago, and that appointment was made official in early 2003.
List said in the release that during Slater's tenure, "student performance has improved, participation in college level courses has increased, the graduation rate for all students has risen and Hall High School was ranked as one of the top ten high schools in our state and top 2 percent nationally. He has been responsible for improved transition planning for students from grade 8 to 9, the Academy for students who struggle with learning, and successfully piloting senior student exhibitions, the Global Problem Solving course, and student teacher assistants to name a few of the initiatives that have strengthened our fine high school. In addition, Hall has just joined the League of Innovative Schools in the New England Secondary Schools Consortium."
Early in his tenure as Hall’s principal, Slater, who is also a major in the National Guard, spent more than a year deployed in Iraq commanding a walk-in clinic and ambulance service at Camp Anaconda in Balad with Connecticut's 118th Area Support Medical Battalion. Nancy DePalma, now principal of Whiting Lane Elementary School, served as acting principal while Slater was deployed.
Thomas Einhorn, currently an assistant principal at Hall, has been named interim principal while the district conducts a national search for a successor.
"I have confidence in Mr. Einhorn’s experience and leadership, especially as we prepare for the NEASC accreditation in the fall of 2013. We realize that a change in leadership at Hall will create some uncertainty as well as a period of excitement and anticipation. Finding a new principal, who will provide the strong leadership required to continue the tradition of excellence in education, is critical to our children and community. We understand this and are committed to finding an experienced leader who will build on these traditions and ensure that we inspire and prepare all students to realize their potential and enhance our global community," List wrote in the release.
According to List, the national search process for Slater's permanent replacement will begin late this fall. The process will begin with creation of a leadership profile that will include input from parents, teachers, support staff, and students.
Parents, teachers, and students will be involved in the interview process as well, List said. The goal is to announce the new principal by early spring.
List said that anyone with questions or concerns should feel free to contact her directly.