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13 Applicants in Pool for New Peabody High Principal

Mastrocola says he hopes to have new high school principal on board for July 1. Principal searches also underway for Carroll and South elementary schools.

Peabody Schools Superintendent Joe Mastrocola says the current pool of candidates for the high school principal job just confirms that it was the right decision last summer to keep Ed Sapienza on for one more year.

Sapienza had retired in June, but then agreed to stay on for another year in an interim capacity, as a full-fledged effort was launched to find a permanent hire.

Mastrocola declined to comment on the candidates thus far (the application deadline closed on Friday), other than to say the pool was competitive and contained qualified people for the job.

He informed the School Committee Tuesday night that 13 people had applied and a screening committee, which also included five high school students, would narrow down that list and interview five candidates over the next two weeks.

He said that within 3-5 weeks, the group should be sending him its final recommendations. Mastrocola hopes to have a finalist for the job by early March and a start date of July 1 at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.

While 13 may seem like a discouraging number, Mastrocola noted that other North Shore high schools are also conducting searches for principals. Marblehead and Manchester-Essex are both hiring.

A focus group was held for parents last month to discuss what they'd like in a new principal -- the PVMHS PTSO also met to discuss those issues -- and the screening committee just convened on Monday.

Mastrocola is also tasked with hiring two new elementary school principals as well at the Carroll and South schools.

An interim hire was made last summer at the Carroll to fill the vacancy created when Cara Murtagh was tapped for Assistant Superintendent and Maryellen McGrath is actually retiring from the South at the end of January.

Mastrocola says screening committees are wading through 38 and 39 applicants, respectively, for those jobs to determine who to call in for interviews. He said he's planning to hire for those jobs July 1 as well.

Saber Walsh January 10, 2013 at 01:07 PM
This is a tough job. The pay for teachers is dismal, the unions have done about as much as possible to keep them from helping kids who need help, morale is low, and we have some poorly supervised bad hires who get kudos from administrators but have the longest, angriest lines at Parent Teacher Conference night. Meanwhile, while we are all wringing our hands over gun control, kids are reportedly dealing in the parking lot, toking in the A House "stairway to nowhere," and violating every moving violation possible while driving to/from school. Good luck to whomever gets this job!
T. Gordon January 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
We all know that this will be an "in house" or "old time Peabody" appointment. No new blood in this city! Mastrocola (asst super who leaves for a few years and returns as super), Levine (what a hack "consultant gig" he has with the city!), Sapienza ("retires" and then comes back for a year...cheating the pension system??) and Murtagh (what is an assistant superintendent do exactly? And how does being a grammar school principal make you qualified to do it?) The arches leading to this city should read: "Welcome to Peabody....where it's not what you know but who you know....Nepotism at its finest!"

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