MSHS begins the principal hiring process


Allison Scott

The Human Resources Department led a meeting with teacher about the search for a new Manitou Springs High School principal on Wed., Dec. 7, during late start.

Morgan Flannery, Reporter

Manitou Springs High School has begun the thorough process of hiring a full-time principal for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. The first meetings began on Dec. 4, and the position was posted on Dec. 14. The school began the process by getting input from staff, while also organizing a meeting open to parents who wanted to contribute to the process. The school will eventually get additional input from students.

Kate Johnson, a junior, has been attending MSHS since kindergarten. She wants the new principal to keep the positives of MSHS. “I like how much it feels like a family, and for how small of a school it is, it gives a lot of opportunities for kids to express themselves and to succeed,” Johnson said. 

However, she also sees some areas for growth. “I think that we can improve on academic consistency through all levels of high school, having a baseline on things like late policies and makeup tests,” she said.

Matthew Rogge, an MSHS parent who attended the parent meeting, also identified areas of improvement for MSHS with the other parents in attendance. “Discussions centered on increased rigor and a reduction in the number of lost days of instruction and an expansion of career training opportunities,” Rogge said.  “Parents discussed a desire for alignment between the middle school and high school in athletics and other extracurricular activities as well as increased developmental feedback.”

“I like how much it feels like a family, and for how small of a school it is, it gives a lot of opportunities for kids to express themselves and to succeed.”

— Kate Johnson

Once selected based on their application, applicants for the principal position will meet with three separate panels consisting of teachers and administrators. They will also meet with a group of students where current educators will watch how they interact with students. “Basically, the three groups of employees are going to essentially pick their top picks, and then they’ll meet together and discuss who they liked or didn’t like,” Lawrence Housley, history teacher at MSHS, said. Superintendent, Elizabeth Domangue, will ultimately have the final say. 

“I think I’d like to see someone who encourages some of the things that Manitou already has,” Housley said. “The traditions that Manitou has and that school spirit that most students here seem to have and enjoy. I think keeping the small feeling is important.”

Principals play an integral role in providing a supportive high school for students with tough course loads. “I want someone who’s able to make tough decisions because, you know, high school is kind of a stepping stone into the rest of our lives. And I think that if we’re too lenient on kids, then true success doesn’t really happen,” Johnson said. 

Rogge also has hopes for the new principal. “I would like us to find someone who genuinely wants to support our growth as a school and district by inspiring it,“ he said. “Bold, confident and not afraid to go against the current with their vision and have the ability to bring everyone aboard by inspiring that vision of where we can go together.” The district has undergone several changes over the past few years, and Rogge would like to see someone supportive to bring the MSHS community together.

In order for these improvements to happen, and in order for Manitou to maintain the qualities it already has, the administration, students, parents, and community at large must work together. Providing feedback to the district is imperative to keep up the family at MSHS that sets Manitou apart from other schools. “We have to bring ideas and feedback into the system, we can’t just sit back and complain about the way things are going in our schools,” Rogge said.