The two finalists to become the new permanent principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School are both currently working as administrators at other high schools not far from the two towns.
Eric Tracy, the principal at Wilmington High School and Kristen Vogel, an assistant principal at Bedford High School are the two finalists. The announcement was made by Superintendent Dr. Michael Harvey on Friday afternoon.
Both candidates will spend a day at the Bay Road school later this month and take part in a forum with the community in the evening.
Harvey will make the final pick but is soliciting feedback from students, faculty, staff, parents and community members. The person who gets the job will replace John Hughes, the retired principal of Natick High School who has served as the school’s interim principal for the past two years after Matt Fox left to become principal at Veterans Middle School in Marblehead.
Before Fox left, he also served as principal at Miles River Middle School, which shares the same campus with the high school. John Driscoll, who was at first hired as the middle school’s interim principal, has since been hired as Miles River’s permanent principal.
Tracy has been principal at Wilmington High School since 2004. Before that, he was an Assistant Principal in the Peabody and Salem School Districts.
He began his career in education as a Technology Education/Science Teacher and has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Cambridge College and a Bachelor’s of Science from Fitchburg State College in Industrial Science and Education.
Vogel has been an Assistant Principal at Bedford High School since July 2006. She has also worked in the Swampscott Public Schools as an Assistant Principal, Curriculum Director and Teacher. She began her educational career as a teacher at the Governor’s Academy.
She has a Master’s of Arts in Teaching History from Boston College and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from St. Lawrence University.
Tracy will visit the Regional on Monday, Jan. 28 and Vogel will visit on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
During each visit, the finalists will each spend a day at the high school meeting with faculty, staff and central office leadership, Harvey said in his announcement.
Both visits will end with a session to meet with parents and the public at 5:30 p.m. in the music room at the high school. Afterward, everyone who attends will be asked to provide written feedback on the candidate.
Friday’s announcement of the two finalists comes after a search that started in the fall with 37 applicants. That field was narrowed down to 10 finalists who were all interviewed this week by the search committee, which included Cutler Elementary School Principal Jennifer Clifford and Mathematics Curriculum Leader Tony Walsh, plus other unspecified students, parents, teachers and administrators.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the leaders of the Search Committee, who served on the committee for offering their time and lending their expertise to this important process,” Harvey said in his announcement.
The current search for a permanent principal comes after a search nearly two years ago ended with neither of the two finalists being selected for the job. The then-Interim Superintendent Peter Gray said he wanted to allow a new superintendent (Harvey had not be hired at the time) to make the selection.