Teachers heard from two area administrators seeking the job of principal at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary Thursday.
Trina Dibbini and Rachel Buessing both answered questions during a forum at the school as part of their interviews for the position.
Dibbini currently serves as an assistant principal at Manhattan High School. Buessing currently serves as the assistant principal at Seitz Elementary School on Fort Riley.
Dibbini got her start as a drug and alcohol counselor, but eventually decided that she wanted to work with kids to make more of an impact at a younger age. She started as a first-grade teacher, eventually teaching eighth-grade history, sixth and seventh grade, then moved to an administrative position. She served as an assistant principal in Salina and Fort Riley Middle School, then in her current position two years ago.
She said she feels she’s ready for a leadership role and wants to make an impact on young kids.
“You’re in elementary school with these kids longer and you can develop a plan to get them on the best pathway,” Dibbini said.
Dibbini, whose children attended Theodore Roosevelt, said she didn’t apply for other USD 383 principal openings. She said she applied for this one because felt such a draw to the family atmosphere at the school.
She and Buessing both said they’re collaborative leaders.
“I don’t know it all,” Dibbini said. “I have a team for a reason and I may have a vision, but I can’t get there by myself.”
Buessing had similar sentiments.
“I like to ask my staff, ‘What does support look like to you?’” she said. “I’m very communicative and collaborative.”
Buessing originally majored in journalism and worked in marketing before realizing she wanted to go into teaching, which runs in her family. She’s taught third grade at Rossville Grade School and West Elementary in Wamego before stepping into her current position.
She said if she got the job, she would spend time first building relationships with the families and staff, then learning the history and culture of the school. Finally, she said she wants to develop a deeper understanding of the student data and try to optimize learning opportunities.
Buessing said she only applied for this job as opposed to the other open elementary principal positions in the district because she’d heard from people about the family atmosphere and wanted to find a school where she fit in best.
Ashley Smith, assistant principal at Riley County Grade School, was scheduled to interview Friday.