Blythe Park School fifth-grade teacher Kurt Preble is the new principal at Hollywood School.
The Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education voted 4-0 with two abstentions late Tuesday night to appoint Preble as the new principal at Hollywood, succeeding Mindy Keller, who resigned last month after five years at the reins.
Preble is the fifth principal hired on the recommendation of Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis and is the first internal applicant to be hired.
He was selected from a field of more than 70 applicants, which included only one other internal candidate. Preble reportedly has applied for previous principal vacancies within the district.
Preble will be paid $78,000 for the 2014-15 school year.
Four finalists were interviewed by an interview committee, which consisted of Sharma-Lewis, Director of Academic Excellence Brian Ganan, Hollywood PTA Co-President Kristen Didio and three Hollywood teachers.
“He is a strong, confident educator with district experience, and I’m looking forward to him bringing that into a leadership capacity with the district leadership team,” Sharma-Lewis said.
Preble has been a regular at school board meetings the last few years.
Board President Mary Rose Mangia and board member Michael O’Brien abstained on the vote to appoint Preble principal. Mangia declined to comment when asked why she abstained.
O’Brien’s wife, Meg, is a teacher at Central School. In 2013 she was an unsuccessful applicant for a principal position in the district. Meg O’Brien was not an applicant for the Hollywood position.
In a little more than one year on the job as superintendent, Sharma-Lewis has now hired all five principals in District 96. Four of her hires have been men.
When Sharma-Lewis was hired four of the five principals in District 96 were female. Now only one is.
“All of our district leaders were selected and recommended by a committee,” Sharma-Lewis said. “We chose the best, most highly qualified candidate for each position.”