Wellington Schools to hire two new principals

Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Wellington Schools superintendent Dennis Mock sits at his desk Tuesday, July 14, after informing the Enterprise of the two new principals he plans to hire July 21.

Two new principals are expected to be hired by the Wellington Schools pending board approval of their contracts at its meeting next week.

Tina Drake, math teacher at Wellington High School, has accepted a tentative offer to become the high school’s new principal.

Paul Holland, principal at Westview Elementary School in Avon Lake, is expected to lead Westwood Elementary.

Superintendent Dennis Mock began interviewing for a new elementary and high school principal about a week and a half ago.

“We did the paper screening and then we went ahead and interviewed and right now we have narrowed the choices to one at each building,” he said.

Mock said 10 candidates applied for the WHS position and 28 candidates applied for the elementary school spot. Each went through two rounds of interviews.

Only two of the 38 candidates were already staff members in the district. Drake and Sean Arno, assistant principal at WHS, both applied for the high school position.

Arno will continue serving the district as assistant principal this fall.

Mock said he believes the two will make a great leadership team.

What set Drake apart was her passion for Wellington Schools, he said. “I was very impressed with her commitment to getting Wellington High School back to where it was.”

Holland has been the principal at Westview in Avon Lake for 12 years. Mock said the district is lucky to get someone with his experience.

Westview is a kindergarten-through-fourth grade building and Mock thinks that makes Holland a good fit for Westwood, which is a kindergarten-through-third grade school.

Mock conducted the interviews himself due to time constraints.

By contract, he had to post the job listing in-house first and then widen the search to outside the district. That process took about four weeks.

Before former McCormick intermediate principal Tim Simpson and former Westwood principal Jill Beiser resigned, Simpson was supposed to take over as sole principal at McCormick and Beiser was to stay at the elementary school.

Mock said Simpson moved back to Oklahoma for family reasons and Beiser was “exploring her options.”

Craig Housum, who served as principal for the junior high side of McCormick, is now the sole principal of the building. He would have moved to the high school if Simpson hadn’t resigned.

Mock expects to start the on-boarding process after the board hires the two new employees at its meeting July 21.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.