LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Following the beating death of one of its students by a group of other juveniles near the end of last year, Rancho High School in Las Vegas is on the hunt for a new principal.

The School Organizational Team (SOT) held a community town hall on Tuesday afternoon in which it outlined some of the traits it will be looking for in the ideal candidate. Parents, students, staffers and community members were invited to speak about the qualities the new principal needs.

Abraham Camejo, a Rancho graduate and member of the search team, moderated the gathering. He posted a graphic listing things that the SOT is looking for, including experience, decision-making ability, budget management, and several others. He explained that there are currently no candidates under consideration.

“We’re not there yet,” he said.

SOT member Fernando Romero spoke to those in attendance in both English and Spanish and made one point about the search clear.

A list of qualities Rancho High School in Las Vegas is looking for in its next principal(FOX5)

“We are not here to follow the dictate of CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara,” he proclaimed. “We are here as a community, to say what we want from our principal.”

A series of students also took the microphone to reveal what they thought their school needed in a candidate for principal, including compassion and empathy. Sebastian Cardenaslopez, a Rancho alum who is now a history teacher at the school, said that the Rams need a leader who will offer “love and support” to the students.

He also noted that the school has been struggling with the same issues for 20 years. As for the graphic wishlist of qualities, he was blunt.

“We need all of those things,” he said.

The team sent out a survey to teachers and staffers at the school and received 92 responses, 83 from licensed teachers. When asked to rank the importance of the listed qualities, they voted as follows:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Positive school culture
  3. Experience
  4. Safety and security protocol knowledge
  5. Vision

Camejo concluded by noting that this was just the first in a series of planned town halls before ultimately coming up with a list of 3-5 potential candidates. A couple dozen people were in attendance, but he noted that the topic was so important that the cafeteria should have been full.

He added that there is currently no deadline for selecting potential candidates for principal.

“The school district wants to hire somebody as soon as possible,” Camejo explained. “We’re not hiring a principal every single day. We need to get this right.”


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