Dodd Middle School Principal Jeff Solan may well have a new title in few days; that of high school principal. Solan, who is the sole candidate for the top job at Cheshire High School, will be interviewed Thursday in executive session by the Board of Education.
Solan said he began to seriously consider the position a few months ago after former Cheshire High School Principal Kevin Ryan told him he was going to resign. "It's been in the back of my mind for a while," Solan said Tuesday.
"It's a great chance to be in a great place at Cheshire High School and grow," Solan said. "I've wanted to focus on the best job I could do (at Dodd)." Solan said his goal at the middle school, where he was named principal in 2008, has been to help students be successful not just in school, but in life.
In contrast, Solan said, he believes the job of a high school principal has a broader focus. "We're preparing kids for life after public education. The ante is up a little bit."
While the choice of Solan as the new high school principal isn't a sure bet, it's very likely the Board of Education will tap him for the job. Board chairman Gerald Brittingham said he'd like the decision on the new principal to be made sooner rather than later. "At this time, only one candidate is being brought before the board," he said.
This is the third time in about a 10 years the board of education has had to hire a new high school principal. Ryan took the job in 2009, replacing Judy Gallagher. She took over for Sal Randazzo, who was hired in 2000.
Solan said he doesn't believe the turnover of high school principals is a reflection on the school or the community. "The position of high school principal is demanding in any town," he said. However, Solan said the rotation of principals at Cheshire High School has more to do with life transitions of those in the position. "Sal was hired for short-term and Judy was near retirement," he said.
The Board of Education is expected to take about an hour to make a decision, Brittingham said. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.