Parkway North Community Search for New Principal


After eight years at North, Dr. Tori Cain will be leaving to continue her career at Pattonville as the Director of Student Services. Now the search is on for a new head principal.

Zainab Khan, Radical Reviewer

After eight years at North, four of those years as head principal, Dr. Tori Cain will be leaving North to become the Director of Student Services for Pattonville School District. Cain’s leave means that the search for a new principal will begin, along with the fundamental steps that come with it.

The process in finding and appointing a new principal is lengthy, but a big part of it relies on the opinions of the North community. The school board and community spend a great deal of time deciding who fits their standards.

“All principal searches are challenging, as we desire to ensure the right person [is] selected for the needs of the school, students and staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Keith Marty.

The entire process takes six to eight weeks. It starts with a survey, along with a few group Zoom meetings to gather the opinions of teachers, parents and students.  Next, the position gets posted and a screening is conducted. Finally the candidate is chosen and a new principal is selected.

“Candidates will eventually be narrowed and final candidates will have the opportunity to be interviewed by selected North High staff and parents,” said Dr. Marty.

While most of the process is in the hands of the school board, the community also plays a crucial role in the selection of a new principal. The chosen principal must meet the qualities and standards that students, staff and parents would look out for and expect in a good principal for North. 

English teacher Megan McCorkle thinks a principal should be captivating and have good communication skills but also be a community builder.

 I cannot speak for all teachers here, but what I have heard from some of my colleagues is that we would like a new principal who is a strong communicator and is organized,” said McCorkle. “We all want a principal who is proud to be part of the North community and will draw in students, celebrate our staff and get parents and families in our community involved in the school.”

According to Dr. Marty, a new principal should exhibit great enthusiasm for their work. They should pay attention to the needs of their students and be fair with decisions regarding the community of North.

“My expectations for the new principal are that they are student-focused, have had experiences in a high school setting, are visible, communicate clearly with all students, parents and staff, are patient and understanding of the needs of teenagers,” said Dr. Marty.

Junior Ashanti Dake agrees that a principal is more successful when they form bonds with students and faculty, and are passionate and aware about the success of their students.

“I think good qualities of a principal would be talking to and getting to know the students, staying on top of their responsibilities and fighting for acceptable things students want,” said Dake. “A principal is successful if they get along with the students, staff and even parents.”

There is also a lot the new principal can learn from what Dr. Cain has already presented as a head principal. 

Dr. Cain is a good listener. She is calm and caring while also being able to set boundaries and maintain those boundaries.  She can relate to students and staff.  I hope we find another principal who will be an active part of our community,” said McCorkle.

As for Dr. Cain, she will be missed greatly by the students, staff and community of North, and everyone wishes her well. “I think she was a great principal but she deserves any other better opportunities that come her way as well,” said Dake.