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Elisabeth Barrow/Jennifer Stanton

EA 754 Human Resource Management

January 20, 2016

Elementary Principal Interview Questions

Covering 2.2 square miles, Clawson Public Schools is the smallest school district in

Oakland County. Clawson is a suburban community in which many families in the district are

multi-generational and Clawson Pride runs deep. Clawson Public Schools serves 1,737

students and consists of five buildings: a pre-school/administrative building, two elementary

schools, and one middle school that is connected with one high school. Of the total student

population 35.6% are economically disadvantaged and 15.6% receive Special Education

services. 74.87% of the students are white, 11% are African American, 6.47% are Hispanic,

5.72% are two or more races, and 1.66% are Asian. The district also has a growing English

Language Learner population and a steady number of school of choice students.

The district will be hiring a new elementary principal for Kenwood Elementary.

Kenwood has a student population of approximately 200 students in grades K-5. The candidate

will be expected to perform all typical administrative roles within the building as well as be able

to collaborate with other administrators and take on additional tasks at the district level. These

tasks include but are not limited to; District Testing Coordinator, scheduling and providing

professional development opportunities, and coordinating with the District Director of

Curriculum, Instruction, and Staff Development. In addition, this candidate must have strong

interpersonal skills, be able to collaborate and coordinate with the other elementary principal,

and support building level and district level School Improvement initiatives.

irst Question: Please tell us about some areas of your resume that you feel have best shaped you
into the educator you are today.
Rationale: The purpose of this question is to give the candidate a chance to highlight
themselves and job experiences that would be beneficial for this position.

Deeper question: How would you use those past experiences in an administrative role?

Second Question: What kind of culture do you feel would inspire and empower students to
grow, learn, lead, and achieve?

Rationale: The schools mission statement, Kenwood Elementary will inspire and
empower students to grow, learn, lead, and achieve in the global community, is one the
staff recently created and believes in. This question would allow the candidate to show
how they would connect their own beliefs and experiences to this particular school.

Deeper question: What kinds of activities would you use to foster and build a positive
school climate for staff and students?

Third Question: Clawson is a small community, communication is key. Information travels

fast, therefore an administrator in our district must be proactive and connected. How do you
plan to communicate with parents, staff, students, and community members?

Rationale: Open and clear communication keeps all stakeholders involved and
informed. Parents and staff are more willing to be involved when they feel connected to
what is happening in the building. This also allows the candidate to bring in his/her
knowledge of current ways to communicate with all stakeholders (ie: use of social

Deeper question: How can you use technology to enhance communication and ensure
that it is ongoing, two-way, and meaningful?

Fourth Question: Can you tell us about different collaborative experiences youve had in the
past and what you learned from them?

Rationale: In the past few years several new initiatives have been put into place
(standards based grading, Common Core standards, a new math program, etc.). In order
to make these new initiatives successful, teachers need time and opportunities to work
collaboratively with each other as well as with teachers from the other elementary school.

Deeper question: What do you think the principals role should be in assisting teachers
in team planning and teaching?

Fifth Question: As an administrator, how do you stay informed of current best practices?

Rationale: The purpose of this question is to gain insight the awareness and knowledge
that the candidate has as well as how he or she will be able to continue and support
current trends in education. Furthermore, how will they be able to support teachers using
new best practices in their classroom.

Deeper question: How would you help your teachers implement new practices in the

Sixth Question: What role do you feel assessment plays in a classroom?

Rationale: Due to the fact that Clawson Public Schools is smaller in size, all
administrators take on additional district level roles. This position includes the role of
testing coordinator, therefore knowledge of many types of testing is required.

Deeper question: As the District Testing Coordinator, how would you keep teachers and
parents informed as well as support teachers with state and local mandated testing such as
M-Step, WIDA, iReady, etc.?

Seventh Question: What is your experience with standards based grading?

Rationale: Teachers have recently changed to standards based grading, and are
struggling with what assessments would be formative tasks and what should count as
summative assessments in their electronic gradebook. Common assessment tasks are not
defined for every subject and unit at this time which also leaves teachers questioning how
to assess student learning. This new administrator would be walking into this struggle and
need to facilitate professional development to answer questions.

Deeper question: What do you think makes a teacher well-informed about his or her
students progress?

Eighth Question: What is your behavior management philosophy?

Rationale: Students need to feel safe and loved when they are at school. The principal
is responsible for creating a positive school environment. This question will allow the
candidate to express how involved they have been with past behavior systems, like PBIS,
while also expressing what their actions were in response to certain behavioral issues or

Deeper question: How would you handle a situation with a student who repeatedly uses
inappropriate language on the playground?

Ninth Question: What experience have you had regarding the new teacher evaluation law and
the various tools schools can use to evaluate teachers, such as the 5D+ Teacher Evaluation
Rationale: Clawson Public Schools has adapted the 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric.
This administrator would be expected to use the tool with fidelity with the intention to
helping teacher to grow their practice.

Deeper question: How do you see yourself using the teacher evaluation system to
support teachers professional growth?

Tenth Question: In what ways do you meaningfully integrate technology throughout your day?

Rationale: In recent years, Clawson passed a bond to purchase more devices for the
classroom. Each classroom has a smartboard, student computers, 3-5 iPads, and access to
class sets of Chromebooks. Teachers were trained through the Technology Readiness
Integration Grant last year and as a result were introduced to many new technological
applications that would increase engagement. Teachers need additional time and support
to fully integrate technology best practices in the curriculum.

Deeper question: How will you encourage teachers to use technology to enhance
student engagement in their classrooms?