AMESBURY — The assistant principal of Peabody's high school has been hired as the new principal of Amesbury Middle School beginning this fall.
Jarred Haas, 38, the assistant principal at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, is acting Superintendent Elizabeth McAndrews' first administrative hire since being named to her position late last year.
Haas said he wants to look at the school's technology and how it is used in the classroom, as well as build on what already exists.
"Let's take a look at the traditions and pride in Amesbury and connect them with bringing Amesbury into the 21st century with our teaching practices so that we can do really what makes Amesbury unique," he said. "We want every student who leaves Amesbury Middle School to be proud of living in Amesbury and the history and traditions of Amesbury but also is ready to take on any challenge."
"I'm feeling very good about this and I am excited that I will have somebody in place that we can have conversations with, now in March, so we will be ready to begin the next school year," McAndrews said.
Current Principal Brian Gill was hired on an interim basis after longtime Principal Michael Curry retired last year.
McAndrews said Gill did not submit his name for consideration in the search for a permanent replacement.
Haas has administrative experience at both the high school and middle school levels, according to McAndrews.
"He had served as a middle school digital learning coach and the director of teaching, learning and integrated technology," McAndrews said. "He was a middle school teacher and his instructional leadership qualities came through repeatedly in the conversations that we had with him."
Haas, who is from Binghamton, New York, began working with Peabody Public Schools as a middle school history teacher 15 years ago. The Peabody resident is married and the father of three children.
"I've been reading up a lot about the historic elements of Amesbury," he said. "There are a lot of connections to famous people. I'm a history teacher, and there is a great treasure trove of history in Amesbury."
Haas began moving up the administrative ladder when he became Peabody's director of teaching, learning and integrated technology.
"We were one of the first middle schools in Peabody to go fully one on one with Chromebooks," Haas said. "I worked with our IT department to develop a strong relationship where we instituted a take-home program at the middle school and built a student help desk where students were working on repairing computers."
Haas also said he helped develop a technology plan to get educators and the technology departments to work more closely together.
"We focused on infrastructure but we also focused on teaching practices," he said.
Haas was picked from among 37 candidates, six of whom were chosen to interview with a search committee.
They included Nicholas Markos, assistant principal of Rupert A. Nock Middle School in Newburyport. Markos withdrew his name before the final decision was made.
McAndrews said she forced herself not to allow a candidate with technological experience to sway her hiring decision, but added that Haas' knowledge should be an asset to the district.
"I appreciated his leadership and his educational instruction," she said. "He talks very solidly about evaluation and feedback, and also talked about the importance of communication and the right kind of communication."
McAndrews said she also liked Haas' dedication to collaboration and professional learning among colleagues.
"We need to restore those things as they have kind of taken a back seat over the last year," McAndrews said. "We need to hit the ground running here and I feel like he can do that."
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.