The Process of Hiring a New Principal

By Lailah Gladney, Clarion Managing Editor

On January 6, following a decade-long career at John F. Kennedy, current principal David Van Natten announced he would be leaving Kennedy once a new principal is instated. Following this announcement, the process of bringing in a new principal began. Once applications opened, Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) decided they wanted 3 interviewees from inside the district, and 3 from other school districts.

On January 31, the district held a community meeting over Zoom to hear community voices, and a Feedback Form was posted – and closed – the next day.

On that same date was a deadline for the interview panel request form, in which community members, students, and staff alike were able to share interest for being on the panel which would interview candidates.

The next step was to actually assemble the interview panel that represents Kennedy and its community. The board was composed of 2 current JFK teachers, 3 parent representatives (of current JFK students), 1 current JFK student representative, 1 principal from another SCUSD school, and 1 current JFK staff member. Chosen panel members were informed of their selection on February 2, and the interviews occurred on Friday, February 4.

Of the candidates who applied for the position, 3 were from SCUSD, while 3 came from outside districts. The 3 candidates from within our district were sent on, while the others were denied.

The process of instating a new principal affects Kennedy students, staff, and community members alike, but arguably, students the most. So, what do they hope to come from this?

Kennedy Junior Nasiriyah Thompson says, “I hope I’m able to actually feel the presence of the new principal. I also hope they don’t choose to be Kennedy’s principal because of the job itself, but for the students and school’s community.”

Meeting on Thursday, February 17, the school board announced that Reginald Brown was chosen as the new Kennedy principal. Within SCUSD Brown has worked as principal of Martin Luther King K-8 School for 9 years, and John Still Elementary for 7 years, both of which are important feeding schools to Kennnedy and its community.
Brown is expected to officially step into the position Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

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