NEWBURYPORT — LisaMarie Ippolito has been hired as the new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Newburyport Public Schools.

Ippolito, the principal of Joshua Eaton Elementary School in Reading, was appointed to the post following the School Committee's approval of Superintendent Sean Gallagher's recommendation Tuesday night.

The committee also approved Gallagher's recommendation to appoint Philip Littlehale as the new district business manager.

Ippolito and Littlehale have an official start date of July 1, but they have already begun their transition. 

"My philosophy has always been, 'We have to do best by kids in everything we do and all of our thinking,'" Ippolito said in a phone interview.

Ippolito added that she was impressed by the interview process, saying, "I thought it was rigorous in terms of the questions that they asked and it really solidified for me that this is the place I want to be."

The district received 66 applications for the assistant superintendent position. A screening committee of elementary, middle and high school staff and administrators interviewed eight candidates and recommended three as finalists.

The candidates then interviewed with others involved in the search, including representatives from the School Committee and the Newburyport Education Foundation.

Ippolito, who lives in Tewksbury, said she researched Newburyport, watched School Committee meetings and reviewed the Newburyport Education Foundation website. Through this research, Ippolito said she realized this was "a place I really want to be."

Ippolito has worked in education for nearly 29 years. Before becoming principal of Eaton Elementary in 2017, she worked for Wilmington Public Schools for 14 years, holding positions such as curriculum coordinator, elementary math coordinator, elementary technology integration specialist and third-grade teacher.

She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Endicott College in Beverly and Merrimack College in North Andover. 

Ippolito began her career at North Middlesex Regional School District in Pepperell, where she worked as an English as a second language teacher, special needs teacher, Title I teacher and third-grade teacher.

She holds a master's degree in special education and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Fitchburg State College.

"The support of my husband, my two boys and my parents have helped me to get where I am today in my love of education and teaching," she said.

Littlehale's background includes 11 years working as a school business administrator and 24 years in the banking and insurance industries. 

He is now the chief financial and operations officer for Boston Renaissance Charter Public School in Hyde Park. 

"We're really excited to have both candidates join the team," Gallagher said. "I think they bring a lot of experience to both positions, and they're really excited to be part of the Newburyport community, too."

The new hires come after Assistant Superintendent Angela Bik and Business Manager Nancy Lysik announced they would retire at the end of the school year.

Both have worked in the district for more than three decades.

Gallagher spoke fondly of Bik's and Lysik's commitment to the district over the years. 

Bik served as a teacher and administrator in the district, leading "professional development programs to support the growth and learning of our whole school community and championed a range of initiatives to ensure that NPS achieved our strategic goals," he said.

Lysik "supported the business side of the district, making sure our finances and human resources support our educational goals," he added. "Her expertise and steady hand have helped guide NPS through both difficult and exciting periods."

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