Departing Park High Principal Craig Paul says school needs long-term administratorPark High School Principal Craig Paul's meeting with staff on the first day of the school year Tuesday included this surprise news: he is stepping down as principal.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Park High School Principal Craig Paul's meeting with staff on the first day of the school year included this surprise news: he is stepping down as principal.
Paul submitted his resignation from the Cottage Grove high school as the 2012-13 school year got under way on Tuesday.
“It’s a bittersweet day for me,” Paul said in an interview Wednesday. “I’m going to end my full-time career at Park and it’s ending on a high note. I’m just very appreciative of the opportunity to work with the staff and students of Park.”
Paul was named interim principal for the 2011-12 school year and then this past spring was named principal for the 2012-13 year, which started Sept. 4. A district announcement said Paul was resigning for personal reasons.
In an interview, Paul said he cannot commit to working beyond this school year. He has twice come out of retirement for interim positions, and said he never planned a lengthy tenure at Park.
Paul said Park teachers participated in a number of summer training programs that he advocated for, including one on technology and another on group-focused teaching. He decided to stay on through the summer to see this school year begin with some of the initiatives teachers had worked on.
The next principal can spend this school year getting familiar with Park staff, students and programs before deciding how to move forward next year, Paul said.
“I’ve had just a great experience, but we need to look long term for Park,” he said, adding that a long-tenured principal provides continuity for students and staff.
Paul came into the job following the resignation of Dr. Efe Agbamu in the summer of 2011. She had been at Park for four years before leaving for an administrative job in St. Paul Public Schools.
Paul said he and Park staff helped to strengthen programs started during Agbamu’s tenure, but now it’s time for someone else to take the lead.
While he already submitted his resignation, Paul plans to stay on the job until a new principal is hired. He said he is helping district administrators with the hiring process, and they have a target date of mid- to late-October to have a new principal named.