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Principal Finalists to Go Before the Public on Thursday

The two finalists to become the next principal of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School will meet the public on Thursday evening.

The two finalists to become the next principal of will go before the public on Thursday night.

And the final decision – expected by sometime next week – is one of three key personnel decisions that will be made in the school district in the coming months.

After selecting a high school principal, school leaders will move towards selecting a new middle school principal and a new school superintendent.

The will be available to meet with the public on Thursday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the PA room at .

Phil Conrad will be available from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., while Rich Manley will be available from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Conrad is currently principal at Rockport Middle/High School and was the associate and assistant principal at the Regional from 2006 through 2010.

Manley teaches at Windham High School in New Hampshire and was principal there from 2008-2010. Before that, he was principal at North Middlesex Regional High School in Townsend from 2006-2008.

School Committee Chairman Alexa McCloughan said she expects a final decision on the high school principal sometime next week. The final decision rests with Acting Superintendent Peter Gray with the consultation of the school district’s leadership team, which includes building principals and other key administrators.

After the new high school principal is selected, the search moves to choosing a principal for Miles River Middle School and a new superintendent.

On Tuesday night, the School Committee named Gray, the assistant superintendent for finance who began work with the district last summer, as acting superintendent.

McCloughan said in an interview on Wednesday that Gray was not given a specific term. He will continue to work under the terms of his assistant superintendent contract, she said.

“At this point we have not determined how long he will be ‘acting,’” McCloughan said.

The district has been without a school superintendent since May 19 when Dr. Raleigh Buchanan and the School Committee r. The details of that agreement have yet to be made public.

But before the search begins for Buchanan’s replacement, McCloughan said the high school and middle school principal position are taking center stage.

“Those are the two things in front of us right now,” she said.

Matt Fox has served as principal of both schools. But earlier this spring, Fox was named principal at in Marblehead, where he will take over in time for next school year.

School leaders then decided to replace Fox with a dedicated principal for each school.

McCloughan said an advertisement for the middle school principal will run soon in the Boston Globe.

The goal is to have both new principals on the job when school starts in the fall, McCloughan said.

After the School Committee’s – Sean Condon, Bill Dery and Roger Kuebel - get up to speed on the workings of the School Committee, McCloughan said the committee will begin to tackle the task of filling the superintendent position.

The new members, among other things, will attend a one-day class put on by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees called “Charting the Course.”

“We’re going to ask them to do a lot of things very quickly,” McCloughan said about the new committee members.

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