Almost two weeks ago, we sent a communication on West Ridge principal Kendall Still's decision to return to Oklahoma to reside closer to his family. We have spent the last two weeks working to identify a strong, qualified individual to start the school year in as smooth of a process as possible.
In an ideal situation:
- We look for a good match for the campus and its culture;
- We cast a wide net to capture a good pool of applicants;
- We look for a scenario that offers a smooth transition for the person coming into the position; and
- We involve stakeholders to collect input and provide the campus perspective.
Typically, this scenario occurs in early Spring so the individual can assist in hiring new staff, have time to meet with staff and parents and provide a seamless transition into the new school year.
In our case, we posted the job immediately and received several applications and also recommendations from the WRMS community on potential candidates. Our goals focused on finding the best candidate and the ideal fit for the campus in a long-term capacity but we also debated an interim solution. During this process, a candidate with extensive middle school principal experience and knowledge of our district emerged.
Ms. Robin Lowe fits our ideals wonderfully and is immediately available to serve as interim principal of West Ridge for the 2017-18 school year. Ms. Lowe recently moved to the Austin area in June, after serving two years as an executive principal at a charter school in Colorado. She is no stranger to Texas. Prior to Colorado, she served three years as Kealing Middle School principal in Austin ISD. She started her career as a math and science teacher in Pearland ISD before becoming an assistant principal in Alvin ISD, followed by middle school principal positions in Pearland, Friendswood and Houston ISD.
Ms. Lowe's experience and education include:
- Executive Principal, Flagstaff Academy Charter School (August 2015-June 2017)
- Principal, Kealing Middle School - Austin ISD (July 2012-June 2015)
- Principal, Pershing Middle School - Houston ISD (July 2008-July 2012)
- Principal, Friendswood Junior High - Friendswood ISD (June 2004-July 2008)
- Principal, Pearland Junior High - Pearland ISD (May 2002-June 2004)
- Assistant Principal, Alvin ISD (February 1998-May 2002)
- Doctoral Studies, Nova Southeastern University
- Master of Science, University of Houston, Clear Lake
- Bachelor of Science, University of Houston, Clear Lake
The stars have aligned. It is very rare to have an outstanding principal leave our district to go out of state and an equally exceptional principal with extensive middle school experience, move into the state. With her knowledge and experience, I am confident Ms. Lowe will be a high-quality interim principal. She is known to administrators in our district and comes highly recommended.
Because Ms. Lowe will serve as a true interim, we will conduct a full process in early Spring of 2018 which involves students, parents and staff. We will also launch a survey in the Spring to identify key desired characteristics of the next West Ridge principal.
I also want to make you aware we will immediately begin the search to find a replacement for Ms. Abby Bridges, who has chosen to pursue an elementary principal position in another district. We wish Abby the best, as we know this has been her objective for years.
Robin's first day at WRMS is August 14, after which we will schedule a meet-and-greet that may be combined with back-to-school events. We will send further updates soon.
Dr. Tom Leonard