John Driscoll has resigned at the principal at Miles River Middle School, saying he needs to continue to focus on improving his health.
Driscoll has been on leave since the start of the school year and John Hughes has served as the interim principal. Hughes will continue as interim principal through the end of the year, said Superintendent Michael Harvey.
Before taking over at the middle school, Hughes - a retired Natick High School principal - was interim principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School for two years.
“His health in good and all the signs are going positively,” Harvey told the School Committee on Thursday. “He felt, at this point in time it was in his best interest and his family’s best interested to focus on getting well and beating it.”
Harvey said he met with the teachers and staff on Tuesday afternoon to tell them and sent out a Connect-Ed message to parents on Wednesday.
Harvey said the position will be posted next week and interview will start in the new year, with the goal of having a new principal named by February vacation.
“We’re early in the game right now in terms of a principal search,” Harvey said, adding the pool of candidates should be good.
The new principal is expected to be on the job this summer, in time for the start of the next school year.
The school district’s human resources director, Cynthia Kiley, will conduct an initial screening of the candidates and then a committee made up of faculty member, parents, member of the school district’s leadership team and possibly eighth graders, Harvey said.
Driscoll was named the interim principal of the middle school in 2011 and was named the school’s permanent principal in February 2012. After the resignation of Matt Fox, who served as the principal for both the middle school and high school until 2011, school leaders decided to return to having a principal for each school and Driscoll was named the middle school's interim principal in the summer of 2011.
Before Miles River, Driscoll was one of two assistant principals at Susan B. Anthony School in Revere. He was also the dean of admissions and freshman academic programs at St. John's Prep in Danvers for five years. He’s a Lynnfield native who lives in Beverly.
Below in the text of a letter Driscoll sent to Miles River Middle School parents:
"Please know that I have learned so much about community through the last two years while serving our students, teachers, and parents/guardians at Miles River Middle School. In addition, please share my sincere thanks to the HWRSD School Committee, fellow administrators and teachers, parents and guardians, and students for having made this opportunity such a special place. MRMS is an awesome school; truly exceptional. I hope that in my short time there, I helped to continue the tradition of excellence that has come to define it.
I also wanted to share that the influx of food, cards, emails, prayers, books, and overall outreach from everyone has been truly overwhelming and has done so much for all of us here at the Driscoll residence! All the support and compassion has left an indelible mark on me and my wife and children—and will never be forgotten."