By Jesse Wood
As of Wednesday, Watauga County Schools has received 14 applications for the Watauga High School principal job opening, according WCS spokesperson Garrett Price.
Interviews are expected to be conducted in March, after which WCS Supt. Scott Elliott will conduct the final interviews. Price said that Elliott will then make a recommendation to the Watauga County Board of Education if a suitable candidate arises.
Former WHS Principal Marshall Gasperson was granted a medical leave of absence following a media report about an alcohol-related traffic stop in November. In the aftermath, Elliott said Gasperson would not be returning to WHS.
Asked for more details about the principal search, Price wrote in an email:
“A principal at any one of our schools serves not only as an administrator, but as an active school and community leader at large. As such, we strive to ensure that as many stakeholders as possible have a hand in the selection of a new candidate. We involve staff members, students and parents in the process through means of surveys and focus groups that aim to achieve the best understanding what each group desires in a leader.
“Through the process, candidates will go through several interviews that will narrow down the list of applicants, but the final recommendation is made by Dr. Elliott and then brought before the Watauga County Board of Education for a vote.”