Search for a Principal Narrows

The decision making process for a new high school principal is extensive and requires significant vetting.

Compiled by Irit Skulnik

The decision making process for a new high school principal is extensive and requires significant vetting.

Max Schwartz, Reporter

Ever since Dr. Marc Lindner left for California following the 2019-2020 school year, CESJDS has been searching for a new high school principal. While Dean of Students Roz Landy has been serving as the interim principal, the administration has been looking for a permanent replacement who they hope will be hired by next year. 

Leading the charge in the search for a new principal is the JDS search committee, a diverse group of faculty and administrators that is led by Head of School Rabbi Mitch Malkus. Each member of the committee meets with candidates, participates in the interviewing, and shares their perspective on the different candidates. According to Malkus, the committee has already made great progress. 

“We had over 20 candidates who submitted their interest and then 12 who the firm sent along to us after their process and conferring with us,” Malkus said. “We conducted Zoom conversations and background reviews for all 12 and then narrowed the field to semi-finalists. We are about to choose 2-3 finalists.” 

The search committee has an extensive vetting process to reassure the committee members of their final choice. Each of the candidates was given an extended opportunity to introduce themselves and present their case for why they would be an effective principal. This process has allowed the committee to reflect on what qualities they are looking for in a principal. 

Jewish studies teacher Rabbi Benjamin Barer, a member of the search committee, is looking for a principal who will embrace JDS’s core values. 

“I am looking for a principal who is excited to lead the high school in thinking about how Judaism and the school’s core values can infuse every aspect of our community, in a thoughtful and pluralistic way,” Barer said. 

Many students have offered their input as well. Sophomore Jamin Weiss believes that the school should hire a high school principal who possesses the same sense of kindness and affection that Linder embodied.

“What made Dr. Linder such an effective leader was that he garnered respect through his kind and loving nature,” Weiss said. “I believe that the school needs to hire someone who has these same traits.”