Search For Fair, Experienced Middle School Principal

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Former Rim Country Middle School principal Frank Larby's job is up for grabs.

The newly appointed Payson Unified School District Administrator Sue Myers' goal is to have Frank Larby's replacement selected by May 23.

"That's the next (school) board meeting and we'd like to have it done by then," she said.

The district will be accepting applications until Friday, May 20.

After the applications are in, Myers said she will select a committee of administrators, including herself, to choose Larby's successor. Larby will step down when his contract expires June 30.

Although Myers' has opened the application search statewide and nationwide, she said she is confident a topnotch replacement can be found locally.

"We have a lot of very talented people here," she said. "We have to find one who really wants to work at that school and with those ages (of students)."

Myers realizes that 12- to 14-year-old middle school students, can be among the most difficult to teach and to discipline.

"Middle school teachers and principals have to be very special people," she said.

Myers said she's looking for candidates with a complete understanding of middle school curriculum and standards, and who have the ability to nurture and support the faculty.

She would also like the new principal to take a team-work approach to the job.

"A strength of the person must be getting along with parents, students and faculty," she said.

Veteran Rim Country Middle School eighth-grade English teacher Michelle Gibbar echoed Myers saying the new principal must "understand the middle school age group and value the opinions and experiences of the teachers."

Former Rim Country Middle School vice principal Tim Fruth, now an assistant principal at Payson High, said Larby's replacement must be fair, friendly and understanding.

"Kids are going through a lot at that age," said Fruth. "They need a teacher or principal who really cares. You don't need to take a tough guy approach to the job."

He also said the new principal will need a lot of energy because middle-school students are vibrant and keeping up with them can be challenging.

Fruth, also a town councilor, said he is not interested in applying for the position.

Myers said among the applications she's received already, several candidates hold the necessary credentials and state certifications for the position.

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