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Pittsfield School District welcomes three new school leaders

Posted By Clayton Wood On June 23, 2013 @ 10:12 pm In Administration | Comments Disabled

The Pittsfield School District welcomes three new school leaders who began their service to the district on July 1.  This spring, the Pittsfield School Board appointed Susan Graham as Dean of Instruction, Paul Newell as Dean of Operations, and Sarah Rollins as Director of College and Career Readiness.

The three key leadership positions are newly-created, replacing the former positions of PES principal, PMHS principal, and PMHS Guidance Director.  Each position will serve both school buildings, PS-12; the Deans are sharing the former principal offices at both schools while the Director is based at PMHS.

The district’s new positions are intended to (1) place a greater focus on instruction, (2) ensure greater efficiency of support operations, and (3) ensure greater preparedness for college and career after graduation from PMHS.  We are fortunate to have attracted three very highly qualified individuals to fill these new roles:

Susan Graham – Dean of Instruction.

Susan Graham is former professional development coordinator, science department co-chair, and chemistry teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, New Hampshire.  Prior to her service as an educator, Ms. Graham worked as a chemist in both New Hampshire and Indiana, as well as an instructor of chemistry at Salem State College in Massachusetts.

Ms. Graham earned her B.S. in chemistry from Simmons College in Massachusetts, her M.A. in chemistry from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and her M.Ed. Admin. from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  She recently presented research findings on effective professional development practices at a national conference at the University of Notre Dame.

Paul Newell – Dean of Operations.

Paul Newell is former assistant principal at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire.  Among other achievements and responsibilities at Spaulding, Mr. Newell developed a dropout prevention program and provided leadership for the development of competency-based instruction and assessment.  His previous experiences include service as an alternative program coordinator, special education teacher, and art teacher, among others.

Mr. Newell earned his A.A. in fine art / illustration from Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, his B.S. in art education from Plymouth State University, and his M.Ed. in educational leadership from Plymouth State University.  He is also a licensed foster parent by the D.C.Y.F. of the State of New Hampshire.

Sarah Rollins – Director of College and Career Readiness.

Sarah Rollins, a New Hampshire native, is former teacher mentor, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) coordinator, and science teacher at Deer Valley Unified School District and Sierra Verde STEM Academy in Arizona.  Dr. Rollins was also an original co-founder and long-time principal of the Arizona Academy of Science, a charter school in Arizona.

Dr. Rollins earned her B.A. in anthropology from Arizona State University in Arizona, her M.S. in education:  curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Walden University in Maryland, and her Ph.D. in education:  curriculum and instruction from Capella University in Minnesota.  Her previous experiences also include serving as a college liaison for students and families, supporting the application, financial aid, and scholarship processes.

Among other areas of certification, all three new school leaders hold principal certification from the New Hampshire Department of Education.  The three were selected from the fifty-five candidates for these positions in a very rigorous process that involved students, parents, community members, teachers, support staff members, and school district leaders.

Parents and community members are invited to meet our new Deans and Director, along with our new teachers who are in the process of being hired, at a reception scheduled for6:00 p.m., Thursday, September 5, in the PMHS Library.  The reception is being organized by our Pittsfield Parent Connection and our Pittsfield Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

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