Clare, the district’s assistant superintendent of administrative services, will split the role with Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Eric Volta, former principal of Freedom High School. The two will hold down the fort at Liberty until winter break begins on Dec. 20.
Halloran, who served as principal at Liberty for seven years, has moved on to the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District as the superintendent of secondary education, managing curriculum and standards for grades seven through 12. He will oversee operations at three high schools, one continuation high school, five middle schools and two K-8 schools, but it’s a challenge he’s ready for.
“I’ve been at Liberty for eight years, and I was a principal in another school district prior to coming here, so I think it’s time to move on and try something new,” Halloran said. “It’s funny. I never even thought I’d be a principal, let alone hold a district position, but I think I have a way to connect with more students with a higher position.
“I was a math and science teacher at the middle and high school level. I thought I was connecting with a lot of students then, but I was only getting a select group that had been assigned to my class. As an administrator, I get to oversee programs and activities and interact with more students. I’m looking forward to my new opportunity, but I’m definitely going to miss Liberty High School. This will always be a special place to me.”
Halloran’s two children, Jake and Katie, attend Liberty, and Halloran has no plans to uproot them from a high school of Liberty’s excellence. He said it will be nice to come back to campus and be just a dad, but it will also create some bittersweet moments, such as when Katie graduates next June.
“I’ll just be another dad at graduation and I’ll get to focus all of my attention on Katie. But at the same time, it’ll be tough because I’ve watched the seniors grow over their four years here, and it’s going to be hard not being able to shake their hands and wish them well in their futures. I’ll miss those moments – sharing in the students’ successes.”
That duty will go to the next principal, whom the district plans to select in early December. Applications for the position will be accepted through Nov. 29, and the board will screen applicants and conduct interviews. But according to Superintendent Jerry Glenn, the board isn’t expected to make a decision by the regularly scheduled Dec. 8 meeting. A special session will likely be scheduled for the following week – but only if the board finds a worthy candidate.
“We’ve got about 25 applicants now, and I expect we’ll get about 40 altogether,” said Glenn. “But if none of them are what we’re looking for, then we won’t hire someone just to fill the position. Liberty is our flagship school, and the role of principal is a very important job. Filling that position is not to be taken lightly. We aren’t going to hire someone until we have the right person.”
If the board is unable to find a replacement by the end of the year, an interim principal would be set in place for the third quarter, which begins Jan. 3. Until then, Clare and Volta are ideal for the job, Glenn said, as they are two of the most experienced administrators in the county.
Volta is looking forward to slipping back into the role of principal. “I miss being on campus, watching students learn and teachers teach. I miss being in the middle of all that energy, so I’m looking forward to spending a few weeks at Liberty to get to know the campus on a deeper level. I think that will help me be a better administrator.”
Glenn said Volta and Clare will make an excellent team to fill out the remainder of the semester, but it will be difficult to find a permanent replacement for Halloran.
“Tim will be missed very much,” Glenn said. “He’s left big shoes to fill, not only because he’s a big guy, but he’s been the symbol of Liberty High School for many years. His presence and leadership will be missed. We wish him success in his future endeavors.”