Greetings CHCS Family,
We have some very exciting news to share with you. After many months of searching and many rounds of interviews, the Chattahoochee Hills Charter School has a principal! We are happy to announce that Walter Buttler will be starting on July 1st as Principal of CHCS.
We had an amazing first year, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of many. First, we must acknowledge our two key administrators this year: Mrs. Jeanelle Greene Wright and Mr. Rick Lennert. Mr. Lennert and Mrs. Greene Wright stepped up to the challenge of leading our school and did not disappoint. Since February, they have both worked tirelessly to serve our mission, and, as a result, we’ve provided hundreds of children with an educational opportunity of a lifetime. We’ve asked Rick and Jeanelle to resume their previous leadership roles and to help us build a strong future for CHCS, and they’ve stayed on without reservation.
Second, we have to recognize our amazing teachers. They took on the challenge of our new school and we can’t be prouder of the work they’ve done. We all see happy and healthy students every day who show up excited to learn and to be inspired by our natural world. And we’re so happy that so many of our teachers are returning next year.
Finally, we need to thank each of you. We know that you placed your trust in us: the Board, the teachers, and the administration. The dedication and commitment you’ve shown to our school and our staff is overwhelming. Whether you volunteer in the classroom, help out around campus on work days, or put in nights and weekends with the PTO, this school would not be the success it is without your help. THANK YOU!
When we began the search for our next principal, it was our responsibility to get the best principal for our school and our students. We considered our current administrative team, and we also sought external candidates. We had over 30 people apply for the position from across the country. We built a special website for our recruitment efforts, and targeted advertisements and candidates that shared attributes with our mission
Candidates went through an extensive process: phone interviews, written assessments, and a grueling two-day interview process with every board member and members of our parent community. Those that made it through that process were invited to our school to be principal for the day while being observed by faculty and the board. We even had our Fourth Graders ask questions to each candidate, and they ask some tough questions!
We also solicited feedback from the teachers and surveyed them about their thoughts on the school and on the finalist candidates that visited CHCS as “Principal for the Day.” We also surveyed several parents and looked for key issues from the 2014/2015 school year that had to be addressed before entering into the 2015/2016 year. All of that data was collected, measured, and deliberated upon in what our liaison at Fulton County Schools called one of the more rigorous processes she’s ever heard of.
We understand that many of you were able to meet Mr. Buttler when he visited the school as a Principal Candidate. If you haven’t met him yet, we will be hosting a meet-and-greet with Mr. Buttler in conjunction with our PTO. We hope you’ll join us in welcoming him to the CHCS family.
To give you a sense of who he is as a leader, here are some of the things our staff had to say about him:
Mr. Buttler was very personable and eager to listen. He was great with the kids, patiently answering all of the questions they asked. He was very professional and courteous. He seemed genuinely interested in our school.
He came in our class, read a story, and taught a phonics lesson with our scholars. He also left a note with three encouraging bullet pointed compliments. He was very professional!
I liked that he had prior teaching experience and that he immersed himself into the classroom. He provided positive feedback to my teaching as well.
Mr. Buttler seemed very well prepared and professional. I felt he was the strongest candidate based on my interactions.
One other key sentiment from teachers and parents alike was the need for more communication. Both groups requested that communication, along with our curriculum and school culture, must be our primary focus as we enter into this 2015/2016 school year. We’ll begin that soon, as we launch a new website with new tools for you to stay in touch with us, and for us to stay in touch with you.
In closing, we wanted to share some more exciting news. The school’s foundation has received an anonymous $250,000 challenge donation to accelerate the agricultural mission of our school. Soon we’ll couple our unique classrooms with an outdoor learning environment and farm that furthers our mission of inspiring children with the natural world. The plan that's hanging in the front office is about to come to fruition.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for being incredible parents in the 2014/2015 school year. We're looking forward to an even more amazing 2015/16 school year.
Clay, Monica, Russ, Leroya, Rebecca, Warren, Xeron, Tim and Tom
The CHCS School Board