Interim Principal to Lead High School, New Superintendent Will Make Permanent Pick
Acting Superintendent Peter Gray announced Thursday that an interim principal will lead Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School for the coming year and a new search will launch for a permanent replacement.
A new school superintendent should decide on the next principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, Acting Superintendent Peter Gray said on Thursday.
That is what led to Gray’s decision on Wednesday to not offer the job to either of the two finalists for the job, who spent last Thursday in Hamilton meeting with students, teachers, staff and parents at the school.
The two finalists were Philip Conrad, a former associate and assistant principal at the Regional who is now principal at Rockport Middle/High School and Richard Manley, a teacher and former principal at Windham High School in New Hampshire.
Instead, of choosing either Conrad or Manley to fill the position permanently, an interim principal will be selected for the upcoming year, Gray said. Advertisements for the position will be placed in the Boston Globe during the next few weeks, Gray said.
Outgoing Principal Matt Fox will take over this summer as principal at Veterans Middle School in Marblehead. Fox had served as principal at both the high school and at Miles River Middle School, but the search was for just a high school principal. A separate search is underway to fill the middle school principal position separately.
The decision to choose neither of the two finalists came after much ”thought and consideration,” Gray said in a press release issued on Thursday. The complete text of the press release is attached to this story as a PDF.
Gray, the assistant superintendent for finance, was named acting superintendent on June 1 after former Superintendent Dr. Raleigh Buchanan reached a “mutual agreement” with the School Committee that resulted in his departure. The exact details of the agreement and what lead to it are largely unknown, but the contents of the agreement and the minutes of the meeting where the agreement was reached are expected to be released when the School Committee meets tonight.
Gray said that he wanted a permanent superintendent to take part in the decision and that rushing to a decision lacked foresight.
"I know it would have been easier to name a new (high school) principal and remove one more issue from our plate, but I'm also aware of the importance of hiring the right person." Gray said in the one page press release. "My decision is a reflection of what I feel is right for the Hamilton and Wenham communities."
The interim principal will be selected with the help of a new search committee. Gray did not detail the makeup of the new search committee in the press release.
They should find a qualified pool of potential candidates for interim principal, Gray said.
“I'm confident we'll find someone who can fill the position of interim principal for the next school year while we conduct a more complete and extensive search for a permanent leader," he said.
Community members interested in serving on the search committee should submit a letter of intent to the Superintendent of Schools, 5 School St., Wenham, MA 01984 no later than June 17. E-mails will not be accepted