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Public meets Bozeman High principal candidates

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Feb 08 2013 12:22:17 AM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Parents and students met with the Bozeman High School principal candidates Thursday to figure out who they thought should take the position.

"How do they answer questions education" said BHS parent Lynne Foss, about what she was looking for.

"I just wanted to see what the candidates have to say and to meet one of my future principles" said Ethan Hanley, eighth grader at Chief Joseph Middle School.

Hanley won't attend the high school until next year, but said it's important to know who could be in charge. "I'd be definitely be looking for a leader that was strong" he said.

Parents like Foss, who has two kids at BHS, agree.

"The principle position is very critical in our children's development through their adolescence, which really affects the community as a whole" she said.

The four up for the job? Bozeman Schools Activities Director Randy Russell, Hamilton High School Principal Kevin Conwell, Aspen Colorado High School Assistant Principal Jeff Kraunz and Executive Director of Educational Services in Florence, Colorado Steve Wolfe.

They each told us why they think they're the one for the job.

Russell cited the fact that he's already immersed in the school district. "I can understand and know what the community expects from our school across the board- whether it's academics, music, arts" he said.

Conwell said his 28 years of experience, and that fact that he's currently a principal leading a school sets him apart. "I know what the expectations are- but I still feel like I have a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm" he said.

Kraunz said his attention to the needs of students will make him a good fit. "I think I have the ability to inspire and create passion for working with students" he said.

Wolfe said he has 30 years experience in many different aspects of education- from classroom, to principal, to the general education sector. "I'd like to take the 30 years of experience that I have and apply it to a progressive school district like Bozeman" he said.

Superintendent Rob Watson said they conducted a thorough interview process. A panel made up of students, parents, community members and school administrators conducted interviews throughout the day on Thursday.

At the reception, the public had the chance to write their comments and give feedback. Watson said they'll take all those factors into account when they make their choice.

Foss said she's excited to see who gets picked.

"I think they all have some positive aspects about their vision for Bozeman" she said.

The district said they expect to make a final decision and recommendation to the Board of Trustees in the next week. The principal will start on July 1st.