Nearly two months ago, we ran our first advertisement in the national newspaper recruiting for a new Head Teacher at Christ School - Bundibugyo. We ended up running three adverts in two different newspapers. Twenty applicants clogged my InBox with every certificate and degree imaginable. Hours and hours I have pored over these apps, trying to distill the details down into bite-sized chunks to plug into a summary spreadsheet for committee consumption. Hours and hours we have discussed the relative merits of experience, degrees, age, and spiritual life.
It all came down to today.
Seven applicants were short-listed (I know, it's not a very short list) from three corners of Uganda. By definition, all were "big men" with a treasure of experience in teaching and leading secondary schools. We, the Board of Governors of Christ School-Bundibugyo, spent the first four hours of the day in Phase 1 - interviewing every candidate for a half hour, trying as David put it, "to triage our applicants." We were able to narrow the field from seven to five who we would focus on after lunch (not very impressive sounding, but it was a lot of work!).
After lunch, we had some difficulty making progress in Phase 2 but were eventually able to narrow the field from 5 to 2 using a "rank order voting system." The whole process was excruciating. Letting go of any candidate seemed like a death, a loss to the school.
The scariest part of the day (at 6pm) is when we all agreed to cast our votes for one of the two remaining candidates.
The final vote: 12-0. We agreed!
We have selected a new Head Teadher for 2010 for Christ School - Bundibugyo, our first time to have a Ugandan lead our school.
(We have not yet established what kind of financial package we will be able to offer the chosen one so we have not yet informed the candidate. So, the identity of the new HT is still a secret.)
God seems to be in the result with such a definitive outcome.
When I did the final briefing with the candidates, apologizing that I could not yet reveal the result to them, one stood and asked to speak on behalf of the others. He thanked us for our hospitality ("in Uganda in most interviews, one doesn't even get a soda, let alone two nights food and accommodation and return transport reimbursement!). He then said that the whole group decided that they would like to "continue to be a friend of the school. We would like to make ourselves available as a resource, offering free consultation, whenever you need us." What a privilege and a blessing this day has been.
Many, many thanks to all who have who have showered this process with prayer over these last hours and days.