New Admin for PCHS

Kimberly Van Maren

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Park City High School has an amazing community and educational system. The students are able to excel in honors and AP courses, are rigorous in their studies, and the whole atmosphere is academic. Much of this is due to our excellent teachers and administration.


Before Bob O’Connor was principal here at Park City, Hilary Hayes had the position. She was here from 2006 until 2012 when Mr. O’Connor took the role.


Ray Timothy resigned as superintendent in 2013, and gave the position to Dr. Ember Conley. She recently accepted a new position in Arizona.


Both of these positions are in the hiring process and will be filled by fall 2018.


Past principals and superintendents have shaped our school during their tenure. Their presence influenced our community as much as the students.


Mr. O’Connor led the high school for six years and was highly respected by the student body. From walking the halls to appearing on the Miner Morning Show, he was actively involved with the students and teachers and beloved in the community.


In 2015, Mr. O’Connor helped ensure installation of all-gender restrooms for students. This action made the news and helped show the progressive culture at PCHS.


“I think we’re all saddened by the loss of Bob O’Connor. Students and teachers both miss his leadership,” said Mr. Ed Mulick, a science teacher who has been at Park City High for years.

Dr. Conley served as superintendent in Park City School District for five years. In 2015, she oversaw expansion discussions and began the process of integrating ninth graders into the high school.


This year, because of medical reasons, Mr. O’Connor resigned.  His position was filled on an interim basis by Dr. Kathleen Einhorn, the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for the district. Dr. Einhorn is retiring in the fall of 2018, holding the position until the district is able to find a replacement for Mr. O’Connor.

Dr. Einhorn has twenty years of academic experience. She has worked as both a principal of a high school and elementary school.


Passing on the job to someone new, Conley hopes that they continue meeting bi-weekly with the teachers. “I have loved being in the schools, and doing visits. I meet by-weekly, so every other week, with my Principals, with a check in. That has been a huge benefit, so I would say to continue that.”


The district hired the Hazard, Young, Attea (HYA) and Associates firm to help find a suitable replacement for Superintendent Dr. Conley. HYA’s job is to help schools find strong superintendent matches for their district.


“HYA is the best national search firm for Superintendents. They have connections all over the country and it’s unbiased.” explained Melinda Colton, the PCDS Communications Director.  


After the search, HYA will send the finalists to a board, made up of community members, for deliberation. Those members will then choose three to five candidates who they would like as their Superintendent for Park City. The final hire will be decided by the School Board. The School Board will not see the candidates for the new Superintendent until after the community is able to meet with the candidates.


The board has their own qualities that they would like to see in the new superintendent, including strong leadership skills, organizational ability, a proven track record in the position, and the ability to unify the district.


In contrast, the search for the high school Principal was conducted by the Human Resources department. The applications had closed on February 23rd. On March 1st, the department had reached out to a new way of finding capable candidates for the job.


“We’re doing an international online, it’s the first time we’ve ever done this international online career fair. So over at district office, you call in, and it’s this gigantic internet hub of people looking for jobs, and if they’re interested in your district you basically have a google hangout or skype interview.” Dr. Ember Conley elaborated.


After that, the district held interviews for the Principal the next Friday morning on March 9th. On March 22nd, the district announced the new Principal starting on August 1st: Roger Arbabi.


Melinda Colton described the situation, “We realize that [Bob O’Connor] is some very big shoes to fill. We want someone who’s willing to stay.”


But it hasn’t been easy looking for candidates for our district.  Dr. Conley described the situation as a much smaller candidate pool than they were hoping for. However, that problem has persisted throughout Utah this year.


Roger Arbabi is who they decided on, and they will definitely affect changes at the high school, but this doesn’t mean that having a new principal will be bad for PCHS.


Mr. Mulick hopes the new principal will wait and see how the school is running before implementing anything.


“I would like someone who is a teacher advocate as well as a student advocate, somebody who would support teachers.” Ed Mulick stated.


The students at our school also don’t seem to know much about the situation, either what’s happening with the new superintendent or principal for next year.  In fact, many students were impartial.


“Doesn’t really make a difference to me,” said Sanne Christensen, an eleventh grader.


April Buys, another eleventh grader at Park City High also added, “It’s inevitable, so we can’t do anything about it. We kinda have to have a new principal, it’s not a choice.”


Some students, however, did offer their own hopes for the principal. Emily Wales, a Senior at Park City High commented, “a new principal needs to do their job well and have a good rapport with the student body.”


The others seemed to be in agreement with their own comments. Jared White and Sanne Christensen both commented on having someone who “does their job well.”


April Buys explained she wanted, “someone who gives the teachers a lot of free reign and is more supportive than just saying no.”


Mr. Arbabi has twenty-five years of educational experience, has been a vice principal, and is currently a Principal in Medellin, Colombia. He has been to Park City before and is excited to take upon the role this coming year.


The administration in Park City is changing dramatically.  It is inevitable that some of the changes that have already been proposed will happen. Start times, redesigning the high school, and homeroom are all proposals under consideration. Having these two positions open may change some perspectives, but the changes will still be there.


Students, teachers, and the community are affected by the individuals chosen as the new administration. It is everyone’s hope that the best candidates will be hired and able to see Park City as the amazing community that it is.