Jefferson County Public Schools elementary principals have received a list of candidates they can hire as assistants for next school year and some are eager to begin the process.

The JCPS board approved the hiring of assistant principals for elementary schools with over 400 students earlier this year. On Monday the district sent over 70 elementary principals a list of over 200 candidates for the assistant positions, including local and out-of-state names, said Danielle Randle, principal of Semple Elementary.

“Elementary principals are so excited about having this opportunity to have someone else in their building that they can help evaluate, give feedback. My assistant principal is going to help make me a better principal because I’m going to be able to do more,” she said.

The decision to allow assistant principals in for elementary schools came from a recommendation from Superintendent Donna Hargens.

The $3.5 million proposal will partly be funded by re-directing financing for half-time counselor positions. Some counselors favor the new positions because their duties would often pull them out of the classroom to cover administrative duties that the assistant principal will now be responsible for.

The district has also waived some regulations making it easier for principals to promote who they want. Assistant principal hires will not be held accountable to the normal district regulations, which automatically assign candidates to schools based on seniority.

“Which really made the principals happy because for the first time principals were really given the autonomy to choose who they want to be their partner,” said Randle.

This could allow a principal to recruit an eligible candidate within the school, where a good working relationship is established, she said.

Randle said despite not having to report to school until mid-July, she’s eager to begin the hiring process.