West Homer principal leaving in May; search on for his replacement

Raymond Marshall is leaving the principal post at West Homer Elementary School after the completion of the current school year. After spending six years in the position, Marshall is looking to pursue other opportunities outside of Alaska, he said.

Resigning earlier in the year gives the school district more time to fill the principal position, Marshall said. Likening it to the NFL draft, Marshall said that West Homer should attract the cream of the crop of applicants.

“This is one of the first positions that will be picked in the entire state. So not only will be able to select from principals looking for jobs, they will have principals who already have contracts and say, ‘Homer, I want to move to Homer,’ so they should be able to select from the very top principals in the state,” Marshall said. “And it’s bigger than the state; they’ll have applicants from other states.” 

Marshall announced his resignation in the last week of January. A meeting hosted by Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek on Feb. 3 provided an opportunity for parents and community members to give input on ideal qualities for a successor. The superintendent will take the wishes of the community into consideration when reviewing applicants, said KPBSD Communications Liaison Pegge Erkeneff.

The principal position was posted on the KPBSD website on Jan. 27 and the district is still accepting applications, Erkeneff said. A public meeting for the candidates’ interviews will be held on Feb. 25 in the West Homer school library. The time will be announced at a later date. 

At the meeting, candidates will answer identical questions within a limited time period. Those present at the meeting can provide written feedback, which the superintendent will review along with consultations and background checks before making an offer or potentially reopening the position. 

The district encourages parents and other interested community members to take part in the interview process.

“We just really value the community input and look forward to the candidate selection and interviews,” Erkeneff said.

In the time that Marshall acted as principal at West Homer, the school won a Blue Ribbon award at the national level in 2012. Additionally, West Homer consistently rated as a five-star school — the highest rating — on the state’s school rating system since its inception in the 2013-2014.