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SAC announces principal finalists

Posted By Roxanne Glazier On March 25, 2009 @ 12:30 am In News | No Comments

The Selection Advisory Committee (SAC), a group of students, parents, faculty, and administrators working together to find a new principal, announced the three finalists on March 18. Finalists Adam Goldberg and Joel Stembridge visited South on March 23 and 24, respectively; finalist Kathleen Dawson will visit today to meet the South community. Superintendent Jeff Young will announce the new principal, the third in five years, on April 6.
The parents on SAC were Andrew O’Brien, Lonnie Farmer, Janet Wertheimer, Barry Wanger, and PTSO Co-President Julie Sall.

“It was a privilege to represent the parents and in a way the students. It was a very thorough and fair process, Wanger said.

Advertisements for the job opening were printed in newspapers across the country, and the SAC discussed the qualities they valued in a new principal. The committee drafted a series of questions and after reviewing resumes, selected the top candidates to interview.
Interviews took place from March 16 to March 18.

Although the general process remained similar to the one used in 2005 to select Principal Brian Salzer, the SAC decided to use new interview questions, including ones regarding long term commitment, that are more suitable for the South of today.

“[The long term commitment was] one of the many questions that we discussed. It’s important to select the candidate who could best serve and best lead the Newton South community, Wanger said.

South Intervention and Prevention Counselor and SAC member Rich Catrambone felt grateful to be involved in the selection process. “I really felt it was important. It starts with leadership. We already have a great student body and faculty, Catrambone said.

SAC members, for the most part, seemed pleased with the search process and its results.
“This was a very fair process during which the advisory committee took a great deal of time to review all application materials and to fully discuss the degree to which each candidates’ leadership skills were (or were not) well matched to the South community. I have full confidence in the finalists, Deputy Superintendent and SAC member Paul Stein said.

According to both Stein and SAC member and Assistant Director of Human Resources Gil Lawrence, the new principal must be flexible. Finding a perfect match for South would be impossible, so rather the principal must be able to adapt.

“The challenge is to put forward candidates that have strong leadership and management skills, Stein said.

Each of the three finalists has experience working in administrative positions at other schools in Massachusetts. Dawson currently serves as the Assistant Headmaster the Brook Farm Academy in Boston. She holds degrees from University of Wisconsin-Superior and Harvard University and is studying for a doctorate from University of Pennsylvania.

Goldberg currently works as the Assistant Principal at the Westford Academy and has previously worked in the guidance department in the Weston Public Schools. He holds both a bachelors and master’s degree from University of Massachusetts.

Stembridge is the Headmaster at the John D. O’Bryant School of mathematics and Science. He previously served as assistant principal at another school in Scituate. Stembridge holds degrees from University of Chicago and Willamette University. He is studying for his doctorate at Boston University.

Stembridge also worked as a drama and math teacher, coached soccer and baseball, and directed various theater productions.

“I am interested in serving as the principal of Newton South because of its reputation for excellence and the community’s longstanding commitment to meet the needs of all students, Stembridge said. “I am passionate about music and the arts, and Newton South has wonderful programs in these areas.

Stembridge hopes to “develop a shared vision for the future direction of Newton South, and then make changes to the school.

Part of this “shared vision includes school spirit, as he believes that spirit must be defined by students rather than forced by the school. “[Spirit] develops organically from meaningful endeavors of the school community, Stembridge said.

Goldberg is a Newton South alumnus and he only applied to this job opening hoping to return to the school as principal.

Goldberg hopes to become principal and provide a constant leadership for the school. “South has had three principals in the past five years. That’s a lot of transition. I want to provide stability and long-term leadership and not immediately rush into a series of decisions. I am not going to enter the community with a laundry list of things to change, rather a laundry list of people I want to talk and listen to, Goldberg said.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/sac-announces-principal-finalists/

URLs in this post:

[1] Newton seeks new South principal: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/02/11/newton-seeks-new-south-principal/

[2] Principal plans new decision system: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/principal-plans-new-decision-system/

[3] Faculty Focus: Cindy Goldberg: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/09/23/faculty-focus-cindy-goldberg/

[4] Senate re-passes Sophomore Lecture Hall Bill: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/senate-re-passes-sophomore-lecture-hall-bill/

[5] Senate reaches out to new principal: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/senate-reaches-out-to-new-principal/

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