June 26, 2014THE GROSSE POINTES — Moussa Hamka, 33, has been named the new principal of Grosse Pointe South High School.
Acting on the recommendation from school superintendent Tom Harwood, the Board of Education approved Hamka's appointment by a 5 to 2 vote, with trustees Cindy Pangborn and Tom Jakubiec casting the no votes.
Hamka was the finalist selected from a field of 58 who had applied for the position following the resignation of Matt Outlaw, who is leaving to become superintendent of the Brandon School District.
A 2003 graduate of Wayne State University, Hamka also earned a master's degree in educational leadership from WSU in 2004. His teaching career began as a math teacher at West Bloomfield High School before serving for one year as assistant principal at Canton High School.
He has been assistant principal at the 1,400-student North Farmington High School for the past three years. He also is an adjunct professor in the Mathematics Department at Henry Ford College. Hamka is married with three children and lives in Dearborn.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the staff and students at South," Hamka said. "I'm honored to be a part of the excellent academic tradition that Grosse Pointe is known for."
In discussions prior to the vote, trustees Pangborn and Jakubiec expressed dissatisfaction with the selection process, citing among other things, a lack of transparency.
"This has nothing to do with Mr. Hamka, but with the process," Pangborn said. "I had to ask for information, nothing was forthcoming, and I was denied access to evaluation forms." Pangborn also said she would have preferred to have had an interim principal appointed while the selection process continued.
But Pangborn's allegations were questioned by other board members.
"I have sat on four selection committees in the past," said Lois Valente. "There was nothing different about this committee. If there is a challenge to the process, it should have been made a decade ago."
Board president Joan Dindoffer said she had visited North Farmington High School and the staff had "wonderful things" to say about Hamka. She also said that feedback from the Grosse Pointe community had been positive.
Pangborn and Jakubiec were not present for the meeting, but contributed to the meeting by telephone.
In addition to Hamka's appointment, the board approved the appointment of Sara Delgado as the new principal at Kerby Elementary School.
Delgado has been with the district since 2007 as a teacher and most recently as a principal intern. She is currently enrolled in the doctorate program in educational leadership at Oakland University. A Grosse Pointe Woods resident, Delgado is married and has three children.