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Posted by on June 19, 2012.

Few answers to questions about North Atlanta High principal vacancy

Parents asking why Atlanta Public Schools considered a man facing criminal charges to be the new North Atlanta High School principal are still waiting for an answer.

APS spokesman Keith Bromery on June 19 answered two dozen questions about the school system’s hiring practices.

Bromery did not provide a clear answer to the parents’ two biggest questions:

1) How did former Riverwood International Charter School principal Eddie Echols’ name end up on a short list of candidates?

2) How will the school system fill the vacancy going forward?

The Buckhead Reporter first reported that Echols made a short list of candidates to fill the vacancy at the North Atlanta High. School officials on June 4 offered the job Reginald Richardson, who turned down the job after he received a better offer from his current employer in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Echols resigned from Riverwood ICS last fall after an audit found he mismanaged school funds. That audit led to criminal charges. Echols was arrested on Feb. 29 and charged with stealing nearly $25,000 from the school.

When he was first asked about Echols’ name appearing on the list, Bromery said, “Candidates selected for interviews are identified based on their backgrounds, experience and education credentials. Matters that surface beyond these resume items are considered prior to final decisions on a final candidate.”

Echols’ legal troubles weren’t a secret, particularly in metro Atlanta.

His case has received extensive media attention. Searching for “Eddie Echols” or “Edward Echols Riverwood” in Google pulls up news articles about the criminal charges.

NAHS and Riverwood ICS are also historic rivals, both on and off the athletic field.

Here are the questions the Buckhead Reporter asked Bromery about the APS hiring process and here are his answers:

Q: How is APS notified when a principal’s position becomes available or will become available?

A: The incumbent resigns, retires or is removed from the position.

Q: Once the vacancy is confirmed, how does APS make the job opening known?

A: The position is posted on the district website in the job announcements section; in some cases the position is advertised externally.

Q: How does APS notify the public of job openings?

A: Same as above.

Q: Does APS offer the job to internal candidates first?

A: This happens occasionally but not in every case.

Q: Does APS offer the job to all candidates at once?

A: Yes.Positions are posted and both internal and external candidates can apply for the position.

Q: Does APS put advertisements in professional publications to attract candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Who receives applications and resumes?

A: APS Human Resources.

Q: Who vets resumes to ensure they meet the qualifications required for an opening?

A: Same as above.

Q: Who compiles short lists of candidates for consideration?

A: The Hiring Manager reviews the list of qualified vetted by HR and determines interviewees.

Q: At what point do background checks become a part of the APS hiring process?

A: This happens throughout the process to fill a position. More specifically, once a final candidate is identified HR engages a vendor to complete a credential and article check, and the candidate is scheduled for fingerprinting.

Q: Do APS hiring officials conduct Google or other search engine queries to confirm data on resumes or find out other information about potential candidates?

A: These methods and others are used to background check candidates.

Q: We have been told there is a committee in place to review and interview candidates. At what point during the hiring process is a committee needed?

A: Committees are assembled as needed to interview candidates for positions.

Q: How many committee members are there?

A: It varies, but there are normally at least three committee members.

Q: Who serves on this committee?

A: Usually the hiring manager and others with knowledge of the area the candidates are being considered for.

Q: What criteria are used to select committee members?

A: Same as immediately above.

Q: What are the specific functions of the committee?

A: To interview candidates for positions and recommend specific candidates via the interview process.

Q: Does the committee interview candidates in person or do they review resumes?

A: The committee members interview candidates in person and reviews candidates’ credentials.

Q: Why are committee members asked to sign confidentiality agreements?

A: To protect the integrity of the hiring process.

Q: How long does it typically take to fill a vacancy from notification of a vacancy to hiring?

A: There is no typical time period between position positing and hiring for specific positions.

Q: Who has the final call on who is hired? Is it the committee, the chief human resources officer or another employee?

A: The hiring manager normally makes the final recommendation contingent upon superintendent and (Board of Education) approval.

Q: Who is APS’ current Chief Human Resources officer? How long has he/she held this position?

A: Larry Hoskins, Chief Operations Officer, currently oversees HR. He has served in the role over the past school year. The CHRO position is vacant.

Q: Who was the prior CHRO? How long did he/she hold this position? Millicent Few.

A: Ms. Few was hired in 1999.

Q: When APS offers a job to a candidate and that candidate rejects a job offer, what is the specific process APS must follow to fill the vacancy?

A: It depends on the situation; these matters are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Under what circumstances would APS appoint an interim principal?

A: Interim principal appointments are made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the urgency to fill the position, the time of year and other circumstances.

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