(a) Every person hired for the first time in a county school system as an assistant principal, principal or vocational administrator after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, shall complete a one school year, beginning principal internship program under the provisions of this section. (b) The beginning principal internship program is a county school system based program intended to provide appropriate orientation activities and supervision to beginning assistant principals, principals or vocational administrators of this state. The beginning principal internship shall consist of the following components:
(1) An orientation program to be conducted prior to the beginning of the instructional term, but within the employment term, developed by the county school system: Provided, That if a beginning principal is hired during the instructional term the orientation program shall be conducted during the instructional term;
(2) The scheduling of no less than three regular meetings per semester during the school year between the mentor and beginning principal. Topics for each meeting may consist of, but are not limited to, the following: Evaluation of personnel, budgeting, scheduling, instructional leadership, discipline, public relations, conferencing skills or other topics determined by the mentor and intern;
(3) The provision of necessary release time from regular duties for the mentor as agreed to by the county superintendent and the beginning principal and a stipend of at least six hundred dollars for the mentor for duties as a mentor, to be paid by the state department of education; and
(4) Documentation of the beginning principal internship recorded on the evaluation form currently developed by the local county school district.
(c) Mentors are selected by the county superintendent and must have a minimum of five years of administrative experience as an assistant principal, principal or vocational administrator. Mentors must complete a staff development program approved by the West Virginia department of education prior to their employment as a mentor. The mentor must not be responsible for or a participant in any evaluation or supervision of the beginning principal intern.