HERMISTON - Stanfield and Umatilla Schools are on the hunt to replace two principals who have been selected to take over two Hermiston elementary schools.

Earlier this month the Hermiston School Board approved the hiring of Mike Scott, principal of Stanfield Elementary, and Shane Pratt, principal of McNary Heights Elementary, to fill principal position openings.

Both Stanfield and Umatilla have begun advertising their positions and hope to have a candidate locked in by the middle of May in preparation for the next school year.

"They are going to have to hit the ground running," Umatilla Schools Superintendent Brian Say said. On Thursday the Umatilla School Board is expected to start the process of finding a replacement for Pratt, which will include considering teachers, he said.

In addition to leadership skills, people skills and experience, the right candidate will know Oregon curriculum and have ideas for improving test scores, Say said.

He expects the district will receive notice soon on its application for a federal grant, Reading First. If the district receives the grant - and Say believes it will - McNary Heights' new principal will have to be available for training in June.

Stanfield has been advertising since Scott accepted the offer from Hermiston and already has 13 applicants, said Superintendent Dale Nees.

Next Monday, a committee made up of parents and teachers will spend the week screening applicants and selecting finalists. The goal is to present a principal to the Stanfield School Board at it's May meeting, Nees said, adding that it is best to keep the process at a brisk pace.

"The longer it takes, the pool of candidates begins to deteriorate," he said.

In Hermiston, Pratt will replace Tammy Ashbeck at West Park Elementary and Scott will replace Mark Mulvihill at Desert View Elementary.

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