, Newburyport, MA

April 25, 2013

Triton seeks new middle and high school principals

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall

---- — BYFIELD — The search is under way for new principals at both the Triton Regional Middle and High schools, with selections expected to be made by the end of May.

This search is coinciding with the new principal search to replace Michael Tracy, who recently resigned, at Newbury Elementary School.

Two new principals are needed as the current administrators are interim principals, whose contracts expire on June 30. Kathryn Dawes was the assistant principal at the high school and moved up to the principalship when Kevin McLaughlin was let go in November 2011, and Alan MacRae became the interim principal at the middle school when Jared Fulgoni sought a position with another school district last August.

Superintendent Christopher Farmer said that the candidate search is required by contract and is not in any way a reflection of the performance of Dawes and McRae who “have done an excellent job since taking over.”

Both principals are welcome to apply for the positions and will be interviewed along with the candidates. “This process is to ensure we have fidelity, transparency and best practices as we appoint long-term leaders for these two schools,” added Farmer.

Once new principals are assigned, a search will begin for the assistant principalships now held by Elizabeth Finn at the middle school and Sarah Scruton at the high school, who were also in interim roles, with contracts expiring June 30.

Brian Forget, assistant superintendent, said that this will follow a similar hiring process but that “the principals need to be the driving force in that process so we must wait [until they are appointed] to begin this search.”

Assistant Principal Scott Brennan wasn’t an interim principal and will remain in his position.

The job descriptions for the principal positions are posted at The hiring range for the middle school position is $95,000 to $110,000 and $105,000 to $120,000 for the high school principal.

The hiring process will involve panels that include relevant stakeholders from three areas — parents, faculty/staff and administrators. All candidates will have the opportunity to be interviewed independently by each group. Ultimately, the superintendent makes appointments for all building principals, but the Triton Regional School Committee will be kept well informed of the process.

Asked to comment about any significant issues resulting from having new middle and high school principals and a new principal at Newbury Elementary School all at the same time, Forget said, “While any transition certainly causes stress for those involved, I believe the new principals will be walking into schools and an organization that are well-functioning and on the right track. All the right supports will be in place to ensure that the successful candidates are able to pick up where the schools are at and hit the ground running.”