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2013 MCAS coding errors lead to lower rating for some town schools, Bodie says

MCAS logo

The Arlington public schools and Ottoson Middle School have been inaccurately designated as a Level III district and school because of coding errors in reports submitted to the state in October 2012, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie wrote in a news release issued Friday, Sept. 20.

Bodie is directing a review of all data collection and submission processes for state reporting.

The town's public-school administration is working with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to correct the ELL data and to return the middle school and the district to the correct Level II designation.

The release does not say who made the errors.

Coding errors inaccurately reflected the number of English Language Learner (ELL) students receiving services at Ottoson. This resulted in the state expecting English-language proficiency test results from 15 former ELL students who were not required to take the proficiency test, and so did not.

All Ottoson students requiring ELL services received them and were tested. However, given the inaccurate coding, it appeared to the state that OMS did not reach the required participation rate on the test required for ELL students.

These inaccurate results automatically tripped a Level III designation for Ottoson Middle School and the town's public schools.

On the 2013 MCAS, Ottoson Middle School demonstrated improvements in mathematics at all grades, and in English Language Arts in grades seven and eight, the news release said.

Asked to provide 2013 MCAS results for the town's public schools as well as specific numbers about Ottoson math results and ELL results in grades seven and eight, Bodie responded in an email Sept. 20:

"My comments regarding OMS come from comparing last year's MCAS results to this year's results. Both reports are available on the DESE website. I do not have a summary document that I can send you right now.

"We will be preparing a complete report for an SC presentation in October, probably the first meeting in October depending upon the prioritization of agenda topics."

Results of MCAS tests lead to scores separated into four levels, from advanced to warning/failing. Here are the levels and the scores required:

Level I: Advanced (260-280)
Level II: Proficient (240-259)
Level III: Needs Improvement (220-239)
Level IV: Warning/Failing (200-219)

This story was published Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

AHS principal welcomes new staff, notes front-desk monitor

Matthew JangerJanger

Matthew Janger, the new principal at Arlington High School, sent the following to parents, guardians and students on Friday, Aug. 30. The report includes the names of new staff members.

As we enter the three-day Labor Day weekend, it’s time to send a last set of updates and reminders on the state of the school. The Arlington High School staff has spent the summer preparing for the year. We had our opening days for meetings this week, and we are excited about this new year. I can’t wait to welcome the students Tuesday, Sept. 3.

While we have not changed the existing seven-day and six-period rotating schedule, the appearance of the schedule printouts changed. This has created some confusion. If you put the seven periods of courses into the old block schedule, that is your schedule. To help folks figure this out, we’ve posted an explanation. At this link.

 [If the link doesn’t work, paste the following in your browser:]

Entering the High School

Please say hi, and help our new front-desk monitor, Danny Arnao, to help us to know who is in the building.

In order to better monitor comings and goings at AHS, we have a new front-desk monitor, located in the Main Lobby. If you are entering or leaving the building between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., whether student or visitor, you should pass through lobby and sign in.

Over the past two years, we have taken many steps to improve the security of the building. These include an expectation that all visitors wear passes, that staff wear ID, installation of 28 security cameras, the use of key card locks, changing our external locks to limit access, and the use of safety class in key areas.

New Staff

There are many new staff joining us this year, so if you see an unfamiliar face, please introduce yourself. My information is uneven, as some folks were hired before I met them. Other positions are still in the process of being filled. We’ll learn more.

Here’s a list of the staff who are joining the Spy Ponders this September:

Melissa Dlugolecki – Athletic Director. Ms. Dlugolecki has been hard at work all summer preparing for the fall season. She comes to us from Holliston. She was a Special Education teacher as well as a coach. Her sports are field hockey and softball. There is a wonderful profile at YourArlington.

Lester Eggleston – Guidance Counselor. Mr. Eggleston has been a Guidance Director in Irvington, New York and Lexington, Massachusetts. He has a B.A. in Sociology from Dartmouth and a master’s in education from Northeastern. He will be working with seniors (Mi-Sa), juniors (McN-Ros), sophomores (Mb-R), and freshman (Mc-Sc).

James Anderson – Special Education Teacher. Mr. Anderson will be taking over the position opened by Barbara Gridley, who is moving to Family and Consumer Science. He comes to us from Pioneer Charter School of Science in Everett. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from University of Michigan and a master’s in Education from Northeastern.

Michael Carta – Special Education Teacher – AHS/Germaine Lawrence. Mr. Carta is a familiar face. He was at AHS last year as a long term sub.

Wendy Forgie – Special Education Teacher – SLC-B. Ms. Forgie has experience working for Beacon High School and worked in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. She has a B.A. in East European Studies from Tufts, an M.A. in English from Harvard, and a Masters of Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brian Haley – Special Education Teacher – SLC-B. Mr. Haley comes to us with 10 years of experience teaching in Boston schools. He holds a B.S. in Economics with a Minor in Business from Framingham State and a Master of Education from Suffolk University.

Na Lu-Hogan – World Language Teacher – We will be sharing Ms. Lu-Hogan with Ottoson. She has been teaching both Physics and Mandarin at Haverhill High School.

John Moynagh – Special Education Teacher – SLC-A. Mr. Moynagh comes to us with many years of experience from Reading High School.

Joshua Roth – Science Teacher. Dr. Roth has a Ph.D. in Astronomy.

Ray Smith – World Language Teacher. Mr. Smith should also be a familiar face. He will be returning to AHS to teach Latin.

Sarah Stoe – History Teacher and Transitional Program. Ms. Stoe student taught at Arlington High School in the spring of 2013. She holds a B.A. in History with a Minor in Secondary Education from Framingham State University.

Dan Sheldon - Computer Science Teacher. We are excited to offer this new program. Mr. Sheldon is a returning Ponder. He comes to us with extensive programming background and has already begun developing a vision for expanding our computer programming options.

Stephanie Bitton – Teaching Assistant – Germaine Lawrence. Ms. Bitton has a B.A. from Lesley University in English and Secondary Education.

Wendy Sawyer – Teaching Assistant - Old Hall. Ms. Sawyer holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Science from Northeastern in criminal justice. She has been an Adjunct Instructor at Bay State College.

Danny Arnao – Teaching Assistant – front desk. Mr. Arnao will be helping us to supervise students and visitors entering the building. He will also be assisting our Athletic Director with equipment and events management. He holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Sarah Gregory - Learning Center - Math Tutor.

Building Maintenance

The Cotton High School first opened in Arlington in December of 1864. That means that Arlington will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its public high school this school year. We are looking forward to the restoration of this beautiful building. Stay tuned for more about that!

In the meantime, we are working to improve the cleanliness and repair of our current facilities. I want to thank the staff who have been working hard to make that happen. Custodians and maintenance have been hard at work all summer cleaning, fixing, and updating.

There have been changes in the way the custodial crew is organized with an emphasis on better cleaning. In addition to our regular custodians, an outside firm has been brought in to clean Downs House and provide extra support. The town has also hired a new custodial supervisor, Jeremy Brandl. Please give them your support and feedback.

Thank you, Mary Villano

I want to take one more opportunity to thank Mary Villano for her work this summer. She is a tireless advocate for our students and a wise educator. Thanks to her fine-tuning of the schedule, we expect to have better services for many of our special education students, more opportunities for teacher collaboration, fewer students with holes in their schedules, and more.

I am excited that Mary will still be around as our Foreign Student Coordinator. I expect to draw on her wisdom often.

This story was published Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.

A first look at Thompson has parents smiling

Public schools reopen for grades 1-12

New Thomppson School/ logo

Smiles -- that's what you saw from many parents and kids emerging from a tour of the rebuilt $20 million Thompson School.

They had come as part of a Thompson PTO picnic at Lussiano Park in late afternoon on Thursday, Aug. 22.

"Fabulous," said Thompson parent Alan Yarborough, whose son is entering fourth grade. "Bright, inviting."

For photos of the new school, click here >>
For other photos, including interior shots, see the Thompson PTO >>

Arlington public schools' first-day information

The first day of school for grades 1-12 is Tuesday, Sept. 3.

First day of school for kindergarten is Monday, Sept. 9.

No school Thursday, Sept. 5.

School calendar 2013-2014

Bus schedules 2013-2014

Arlington High sports-information packet 

Matthew Janger is the new principal at Arlington High School

Melissa Dlugolecki is the new athletics director at AHS

He liked the building's layout and noted that a music room and gym can be repurposed as a theater.

Marcella Hoekstra had a similar opinion about the building's airy ambience.

She asked her daughter, Pearl, 6, who will be first grade, what she likes.

"Everything," she said, turning away in shyness.

Vikrem Kolev, a Hardy parent, wanted to see the Thompson because day care for his son, Nikola, is nearby. He said he liked the design, the building's towers. "It's peaceful, warm," he said, likely music to the ears of HMFH ArchitectsHMFH Architects of Cambridge.

The years of work on the building was done by G & R Construction.

A parent who declined to provide her name offered a less enthusiastic assessment.

She said she agreed with the subjective view her son offered. He said the building appears larger on the outside that it actually is inside.

For her own part, she said the gym and cafeteria seemed smaller than they should be, but she was happy to see more classrooms.

Principal Sheri Donovan was in the lobby organizing tours. Sixth- and seventh-grade students, who are graduates of Thompson, guided families through the building.

She wrote in an email to parents Aug. 21: "You need to know that the building still has work to be done and teachers have only recently been setting up their rooms. So, the building does not look like it will on opening day. Some teachers will actually be in their classrooms working."

The public grand opening and ribbon-cutting for the new Thompson is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15.

This story was published Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, and updated Aug. 27 to add the time of the ribbon-cutting.















Ortwein, a fixture at AHS since 1968, retires

Nanci OrtweinOrtwein

Teachers, staff are honored

The Arlington public schools, as it does annually, honors teachers and staff, highlighting those with the longest service, those gaining professional status as well as retirees.

This year the longevity honor goes to Nanci Ortwein, a teacher of Spanish, who has taught at Arlington High School for 45 years -- since the protest year of 1968.

Honored for 35 years was Peter Rufo, a physical education teacher at the Stratton School.

Serving 30 years was Barbara Flaherty, a traffic supervisor.

Read more ...

Holliston coach named director of athletics at AHS

Melissa DlugoleckiMelissa Dlugolecki has accepted the position of athletics director at Arlington High School, the public school administration announced Wednesday, June 12, and she will officially assume her responsibilities this summer.

Dlugolecki is currently both the assistant athletics director and a special-education teacher at Holliston High School, positions she has held since 2009.

The salary range for the position was described in April as $78,000 to $88,000.

AHS has had female athletics directors before. In the 1980s, Liz McDonough served in the role, said Robert Spiegel, the schools' human-resources director. Following her, Kate Cremens-Basbas served for about a year. 

Read more ...

Education foundation awards $39,355 to public schools

AEF logo

Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has awarded $39,355 in grants this spring to the Arlington public schools in three categories: Continuing Scholars Awards, Development & Expansion Grants and Innovations in Education Grants.

AEF President Rebecca Steinitz said in a news release Monday June 3: "We are especially pleased to announce the creation of AEF’s Continuing Scholars Award. This Award encourages teachers to go deeper into a subject, renew themselves with a program, or pursue a passion. We strongly feel that personal experiences like these not only reward teachers, but also have a positive impact on Arlington’s students."

Read more ...

Hardy 5th-grade teacher advances to principal

Hardy School logo

Kristin DeFrancisco, a fifth-grade teacher at Hardy, has accepted the position of principal of that school, the Arlington public schools' administration said Tuesday, May 7. She will officially assume her responsibilities July 1. 

DeFrancisco has worked in the town's public schools since 1997, where she first taught grade six at the Dallin Elementary and Ottoson Middle schools.

From 2008 to 2012, she was a third grade teacher at Hardy.

DeFrancisco has been an active participant on the Hardy Building Leadership Team and School Council, as well as on the District-wide Educator Evaluation Task Force. She has also contributed to the district's ongoing Common Core State Standards curriculum mapping and alignment initiatives.

She attended Regis College, where she received a B.A. in English, a master's in elementary education and a certificate in elementary education. She received her middle school and elementary school principal licenses through the Massachusetts Elementary Schools Principals’ Association, having completed her administrative internships in Arlington.

"We are very pleased to welcome Ms. DeFrancisco into a new role in Arlington," Dr. Kathleen Bodie, superintendent of schools, said in a news release.

"Kristin brings to her new leadership position her experience as a teacher in the Elementary Level, as well as active involvement in District-wide Committees. Through her years of teaching and active committee work, she brings a deep understanding of the mission of the Arlington Public Schools and the wonderful teaching and learning taking place in our schools,” said .

DeFrancisco was among three finalists for the position announced April 12.

The others were Dustin Gray, principal of Garrison Elementary School in the Dover, N.H.; and John Maxwell, an assistant principal the Harrington Elementary School in Lexington. 

The current principal, Deborah D'Amico, at Hardy seven years and education for nearly 40, is retiring in June.

Gray has been a principal in the New Hampshire district since 2006. Before assuming that role, he was an assistant principal in the Londonderry, New Hampshire School District. Mr. Gray has taught Grade 6 in the Dover, N.H., School District and grade four in the Alexandria, Va., public schools.

Gray received a B.S in education from Greensboro College in North Carolina and a master of education from the University of New Hampshire.

Maxwell is also a classroom teacher at the Harrington.  Previously, he was the principal of the Hansen Elementary School in Canton, Mass. He has also been an assistant principal in North Attleborough, a grade three and four classroom teacher and library media specialist in Wellesley and a grade four teacher in Sutton.

Maxwell received a B.A. in psychology and education from UMass./Amherst, a master of education from UMass./Amherst and he completed his principal licensure through Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association.

This story was published Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

School superintendent's contract boosts pay to $181,500 in 2016

Dr. Kathl;een BodieBodie

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie has a new three-year contract starting July 1 that will increase her annual income $14,240, from $167,260 to $181,500.

The salary increases are $5,240 in fiscal 2014; $3,500 in fiscal 2015; and $5,500 in fiscal 2016.

The School Committee approved the contract, 6-0, without comment following an executive session April 11. Kirsi Allison-Ampe was absent.

The increases that Bodie is receiving are "with the range of what we are seeing," Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, said Wednesday, May 1.

Receipt of the Bodie's new contract was delayed because officials were away during the April break.

For the current fiscal year, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine has a salary of $161,160 annually, says Caryn Malloy, town personnel director.

The manager has 5 percent of the base pay routed to a deferred-compensation plan, a provision that depends on a positive performance review.

He also gets $2,000 a year for a long-term disability policy as well as full use of a town vehicle.

The manager's contract runs through Feb. 24, 2015. "Compensation can be annually evaluated after the completion of a performance evaluation process." Malloy wrote May 1.

The positions of superintendent and manager in Arlington, a city-sized town of 42,000 people, fulfill differing roles, and their annual compensations cannot be directly compared.

Salary history, comparative data

Here is some history of Bodie's administrative tenure, starting with the amounts of her last contract, according to the school budget for each year.

For the current fiscal year, 2013, her compensation is $167,260.

The year before, it was $160,000.

In fiscal 2011, it was $155,000.

Comparative salary data for superintendents from 2011 provided by a state source provides context to Bodie's compensation numbers.

At the top end were Lexington, at $248,660; Newton, $230,000; and Cambridge, $221,000.

Below that were Winchester, $178,000; Belmont, $175,000; and Somerville, $174,820. All at $170,000 were school chiefs in Acton-Boxborough, Burlington and Lowell.

Those paid $160,000 were superintendents in Medway, Canton, Greater Lowell Regional, Mendon-Upton, New Bedford, Newburyport, North Attleboro and Reading.

Those paid similarly to Bodie in fiscal 2001 were Medford, $158,000; Stoneham, $153,913; Woburn, $153,000;
and Minuteman Regional, $152,770.

Superintendents paid at the lowest level in 2011 were those in Littleton, $93,300; Nahant, $50,000; Hancock, New Ashford, $39,000; and Farmington River Regional, $31,200.

Last November, the School Committee gave Bodie top marks in a public evaluation.

The committee voted Nov. 27, to enter into talks for a new pact as the current agreement ends next June 30.

To provide context, here are some key events related to Bodie occurring since 2007:

Bodie, named an assistant superintendent in 2007, was elevated to superintendent in 2008 following the departure of Nate Levenson.

In October 2008, she was named interim superintendent in a vote of 5-0-1.

In January 2009, the committee voted to extend her contract to June 30, 2010.

In February 2010, after a search committee chose eight candidates for superintendent, Bodie did not say whether she had applied.

A little more than a week later, Bodie was reported to be a finalist for the top school job in Swampscott.

Five days after that, three finalists were named, and Bodie bowed out.

Late that month, the two remaining finalists withdrew and Bodie accepted the permanent position.

Her evaluations were reported in April 2010.

In November 2011, the School Committee evaluated Bodie in public for the first time.

During her tenure, she has received a doctorate.

This story was published Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

Bodie answers parents' questions about Thompson busing

Kathleen Bodie

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie has addressed emails from parents questioning the administration's response to a possible bus strike affecting Thompson School students. She wrote that even if a strike occurs, bus service will continue.

In an email Monday, April 22, Bodie provided questions that parents ask followed by her answers. She wrote:

"1. Why were parents not informed of the possibility of a strike until Friday, April 19?

"The district was notified about the potential strike until late Thursday. Parents were notified on Friday after the district looked into alternative arrangements.

"2. Why did the town made no contingency plans?

"The district's Director of Transportation [Rick Iannelli] called all of the bus companies in the area looking for buses for our special education runs, as well as back-up buses should there be a strike. We were down two buses due to mechanical problems.

"In the process, he learned that there were no available buses, though one company later was able to offer one bus and a driver for a special education run.

"We looked into using our buses to transport Thompson students to after-school programs after the scheduled routes were completed, but that would have meant students remaining at their schools for about 1 hour until the buses could arrive.

"Unfortunately, the best alternative was to give parents time over the weekend to arrange for car pools.

"Had there been a bus strike, we would have made sure that all children without transportation were taken care of until an Arlington bus was available to take them to their bus stop (parents would have been notified) or their after-school program.

"3. Why parents were not informed until after 7:30 a.m. on Monday, April 22, that school buses were running?

"Principal Donovan contacted parents as soon as she was aware of the situation. I believe that the Alert Now call was sent earlier than 7:30. [YourArlington received the email at 7:29 a.m.]

"It may not have been received until 7:30. We know that some children were driven to school, but most of the children rode the buses. We … apologize for the inconvenience and all of the uncertainty that this situation has caused. Unfortunately, we did not have many options. We tried to give parents as much notice as we were able to provide.

"4. Will there still be a bus strike in the next few days?

"We do not know if there will still be a strike. However, we learned today from the owner of the company that even if there is a strike, he has found a way to make sure that there will be three buses for the Thompson runs, which was great news.

"Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience of this morning, but the good news is that we will continue to have bus service for the remainder of the year."

This story was published Tuesday, April 23, 2013. 

Bodie counsels calm; no bus strike for Thompson

Kathleen Bodie

At the nine Arlington public schools on Monday, April 22, the plan is to "have as normal a school day as possible," Superintendent Kathleen Bodie has written in an email to parents and guardians.

In a subsequent email Friday, April 19, she alerted the Thompson community to the possibility that Eastern Bus drivers may go on strike Monday.

Principal Sheri Donovan sent an email on Monday, April 22, saying: "The buses are running."

On Monday at the middle and high school, the victims of the Marathon explosions will be remembered with a moment of silence.

"We are all sharing many emotions this week as we witness and grieve about the ... tragedy that has touched all of our lives," she wrote. "Some of us have family members or friends who were hurt or present at the finish line. Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families affected by this tragedy.

"On the heels of the Newtown tragedy, young children and adolescents may be experiencing anxiety about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones.  Many have been watching the continuous news coverage more than they would normally this past week."

To help, Bodie noted additional resources on the district's website.

"There is great comfort for children, adolescents and adults alike in following a predictable routine. Teachers at the elementary level will not be explicitly talking about the events.

"The strong message to students will be that they are in a safe environment with people who care about them very much and who are responsible for keeping their environment safe," she wrote. "Since the Newtown tragedy, the security in all of our buildings has been increased. All doors are locked during the school day."    

A counselor is expected to be available in each school for students who need to speak with someone. If your child is experiencing difficulty with this tragedy, reach out to the school's administration or counselors for support, she wrote.

"As a community, we can be very proud of the response of our police department in this crisis," she wrote. "Officers have come back from vacations and leaves to support their fellow officers in Watertown and Boston this week, as well as providing an enhanced, visible presence in Arlington.

"One of the uplifting outcomes of this shared tragedy has been outpouring of care and concern for those who have been injured or affected in more intangible ways. Hopefully, this renewed spirit of community and care will be long-lasting."

This story was published Friday, April 19, 2013, and updated Monday, April 22. 

Dever to fight dismissal; new AD to be in place in June

Edward J. DeverDever

Parents asked to aid search

The Arlington public school administration plans to hire a new, full-time director of athletics by early June after the employment of Edward "Ted" Dever ended in March.

Five days after this report was published, quoted Dever's attorney, who said he plans to fight the dismissal.

Signaling the change, the School Committee approved a new job description for an athletics director Thursday, April 11, in a 6-0 vote. Kirsi Allison-Ampe was ill and was not present.

Committee members made public no comment about Dever, who was placed on paid leave last August, because of an unspecified investigation.

He had been athletics director since October 2007.

In the light of a new job description, YourArlington asked Robert Spiegel, director of human resources for the Arlington public schools, on April 12 about Dever's employment status.

Spiegel, who had been out of the office, responded Tuesday, April 16:

"We can simply confirm that he is no longer on the payroll effective March 22, 2013.

"Otherwise, it's a personnel matter and we cannot comment."

Asked about the time frame for hiring a replacement, he wrote: "We will post the position of Athletic Director soon and hope to select one by early June."

History of the case

Dever was placed on leave last Aug. 27 after town police identified him as the target of an unspecified investigation. Rob DiLoreto, a house dean and former athletics director, was named to fill in, coaches were told Thursday, Aug. 30.

A statement from Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, released Aug. 29, referred to probes of Dever by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Arlington police "involving allegations of certain criminal conduct." The statement did not further describe the conduct.

In December, The Boston Globe reported that Dever, a Winchester resident, was fighting his dismissal in the face of a criminal probe.

Authorities have released no specifics. Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan declined to comment to a Globe reporter.

The Globe quoted Rick Grundy, Dever’s attorney, who said Arlington schools' Superintendent Kathleen Bodie had notified Dever of her intention to dismiss him though no charges have been filed.

Grundy said he and Dever met with Bodie and an attorney representing the school district Dec. 4 for a hearing about Dever’s employment and were told of several performance-related reasons behind Bodie’s intention to fire Dever.

Later that month, one possible issue emerged.

Arlington High School was required to forfeit a number of wins by some of its sports teams during the 2011-2012 school year. In all, 12 teams included ineligible players, and eight of the teams have had to forfeit winning games.

The forfeitures result from the recently discovered fact that several student athletes who competed for Arlington interscholastic teams last school year were academically ineligible to compete under Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.

A news release did not mention Dever, but it said an investigation by DiLoreto led to discovery of ineligible players.

The next day, a Globe story quoted an MIAA official calling the forfeitures "unprecedented."

Dever's name remained out of the news until it was mentioned in a story about Jimmy Roche, baseball star at Arlington High School who had been hired to assist DiLoreto until Roche was called up to Mets farm team

The new job description for the director of athletics changes what had been three-fourths position to full time.

One provision calls for "familiarity with the MIAA Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics."

The salary range is $78,000 to $88,000.



Position: Athletic director
JOB GOAL: To plan and coordinate the total program of interscholastic athletics.


1.Demonstrated evidence of strong leadership experience in the coaching and organization of interscholastic athletics.

2. Demonstrated effectiveness in management in a variety of roles in interscholastic athletics.

3. Evidence of successful coaching.

4. Skill in planning, scheduling, organizing, evaluating and budgeting directly related to interscholastic athletic programs.

5. Clear understanding of the role of competitive athletics and recreational athletics in public schools as part of a total developmental education program for both young men and young women.

6. Strong public relations skills in interpreting policies and programs to the school community and community at large.

7. Familiarity with the MIAA Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics.

8. Familiarity with law and implementation of Title IX.

9. DESE Certification/Licensure required; DESE Administrator, Licensure Preferred

10. NIAA National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association) Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) or working toward certification.

11 Other qualifications acceptable to the Superintendent.


1 Organizes and administers the overall extracurricular athletic program for Arlington High School and interscholastic, for the district.

2. Hires, assigns, supervises and evaluates athletic coaches and staff members.

3. Fosters good school-community relations by keeping the community aware of and responsive to the athletic program.

4. Organizes and schedules all interscholastic athletic events.
5. Hires officials, team physicians, trainer, and game staff/ security and policemen as required, and assumes general responsibility for the proper supervision of home games.

6. Arranges transportation for travel to away games,

7. Develops and implements appropriate rules and regulations governing the conduct of athletic activities.

8. Verifies each athlete's eligibility according to established physical, academic and other requirements for participation in each sport according to MIAA and School District rules.

9. Ensures compliance with Title IX so that there are equal athletic opportunities for boys and girls.

10. In conjunction with the School District's Chief Financial Officer and Business Office staff, prepares and administers the athletic program budget.

11. Regularly communicates with Athletic Directors from opposing teams regarding upcoming events.

12. Supervises all ticket sales and fund-raising events of the athletic program, and assumes responsibility for proper handling of funds.

13. Approves use of school athletic facilities for non-school use.

14. Provides for the physical examination of all athletes prior to the beginning of each season. Works with the school nurse to insure proper documentation of medical forms for all athletes.

15. Responsible, in conjunction with the School Business Office, for collection of athletic participation fees.

16. Purchases, in conjunction with the School Business Office and according to School District policy, all equipment and uniforms.

17. Secures permits for all practices and games, both indoors and outdoors.

18. Oversees the upkeep of Peirce Field.

19. Efficiently responds to students and parent issues.

20. Maintains active involvement in league, district and state athletic directors' associations and meetings.

21. Other responsibilities as assigned by the Superintendent and/or High School Principal.


REPORTS TO: Principal, Arlington High School

SUPERVISES: The Director provides supervision of all coaches of interscholastic athletics and related support personnel.

SALARY: $78,000 to $88,000

AAA Bargaining-unit position. Benefits are in accordance with those offered to AAA bargaining-unit members.

Arlington values diversity. We strongly encourage candidates of varied backgrounds, including people of color, persons with disabilities and other to apply.

Volunteers sought for search by May 3

In an email Friday, April 26, interim Principal Mary Villano asked parents for support in the search for a new director of athletics. She was relaying a message from Dean of Students Veronica Tivnan.

"We are looking for two parent volunteers, whose children are currently involved in the athletic program at AHS, to serve on a hiring committee. We would like a parent of a female athlete and one of a male athlete.

"Hiring committees have the responsibility of drafting interview questions, being present for all candidate interviews, and recommending finalists to Principal Villano. We have several applicants for this position already and hope to have the process concluded by the beginning of June.

"Please consider serving on this committee to support our student athletes. We are proud of all our student athletes and want to continue the tradition of a strong athletic program at Arlington High School."

Those interested in volunteering should email contact information to Tivnan at vtivnan at by Friday, May 3.

This story was published Wednesday, April 17, 2013, and updated April 26.

Dallin principal search on hold; interim agrees to next year

Dallin School logo

The search for a permanent principal of the Dallin School has been put on hold after one of three finalists withdrew. In response, Dr. Eileen Driscoll Wood, the interim principal for the current school year, has agreed to stay on for next year.

For this plan to work, Woods must receive a retirement waiver form the state.

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, in an email to Dallin parents and guardians on Saturday, April 13, explained the situation:"I want to bring you up-to-date on the Dallin principal search. As you know, we began the search in late November and it has remained open until now. During February, the Search Committee interviewed a number of candidates and was prepared to forward three finalist candidates to me. The next phase of the process would have been to invite the candidates to a day-long visit at Dallin to meet with teachers, staff, administrators and parents.

"Unfortunately, one of the candidates withdrew. The search remained open because the Search Committee was unable to recommend three or four finalists, which had been my charge to the Committee.

"Having only two finalist candidates is very risky and, therefore, unacceptable because of the possibility of a candidate withdrawing. Appointing the remaining candidate to the position because s/he is the remaining candidate is not an ideal situation. It is also a difficult position for the candidate to be in should s/he not be chosen while being the only candidate remaining. We have had that situation in Arlington and I do not want to repeat it, if possible.

"Since February, we have been reviewing applications that have continued to be submitted, though the number has dwindled considerably. Most of the recent applications have been for the Hardy principal position, most likely because it was a relatively new posting. So far, we have not found any applicant in the recent pool of applications to send to the Search Committee for their consideration.

"We are not sending the same candidate to both Search Committees (Hardy and Dallin). It was the strong feeling of the Hardy Search Committee that we not do that. I also think that "sharing candidates" in two district searches is not a good idea.

"It is an option to keep the Dallin search open, but my feeling is that it would be preferable for the Dallin community to have closure on leadership for next year. I have asked Dr. Woods if she would be willing to continue in her interim role next year and she has agreed to do that -- and she would be happy to continue. She has enjoyed her year at Dallin very much.

"Appointment, however, is contingent on obtaining a retirement waiver from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). While we have met DESE's requirements for applying for a waiver, it is possible that they may ask us to re-open the search and defer action until we determine if a new search is successful. The application process should take several weeks. I will let you know the outcome.

"It was my intention from the beginning to have a successful search, while not compromising on the strength of the candidate we chose as the next leader.

"I want to thank Dr. Woods for her willingness to continue as principal. And, I also want to thank the Search Committee for the many hours they spent interviewing candidates and for their thoughtful review of each candidate's qualifications for the position. The parent representatives were Julia Schilling, Lauren Boyle and Michael Connell."

Last May, Tara Rossi announced she was leaving as Dallin principal after three years. In June, Bodie said Woods, who was principal of the year in 1998, would take over. Woods retired from the Andover public schools in 2008 after a long career there.

This story was published Mondaqy, April 15, 2013.

New AHS principal coming from Maine in July

Matthew JangerJanger

Matthew Janger, 49, principal of Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Maine, since 2009, has accepted the position of principal of Arlington High School, the school administration announced Monday, Feb. 25.

Dr. Janger will officially assume his responsibilities as principal July 1. 

"I'm excited to be joining such a wonderful school in a vibrant community like Arlington," he wrote in an email Feb. 25.

Mary Villano has been the interim principal following the retirement of Charles Skidmore in 2011. She is expected to retire in June.

He brings a wide range of administrative, classroom and educational research experience to his new position in Arlington.

Before 2009, he taught English at Huron High School and served as the principal of the Wines Elementary School, both in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Janger also had several years of research experience in the areas of reading and school-level reform. 

Janger holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Williams College, a master of business administration from Yale University and a master of education in educational administration and a doctor of philosophy in educational foundations and policy from the University of Michigan. 

"We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Janger to Arlington," Dr. Kathleen Bodie, superintendent of schools, wrote in a news release.

"Dr. Janger brings to his new role strong administrative and teaching experience, as well as a deep understanding of best educational practices in schools. He has a thoughtful, approachable leadership style and a good sense of humor."

Four finalists for AHS principal met the public: On Tuesday, Feb. 12, were Matthew Poska and Shirley Lundberg The next evening were Janger and Debra Heaton.

Poska is the principal of Briscoe Middle School in Beverly. Before that, he was the assistant principal of Beverly High School and the assistant principal and director of athletics at Saugus High School. Poska was a history and social studies teacher at Lynn English High School and at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn. She received a B.A. in history/secondary education from Merrimack College, and a master of education in secondary school administration from Salem State College.

She is a candidate for a doctorate in education in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Lundberg is the director of academics for Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. Before that, she was the lead teacher and a mathematics teacher at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. She has also served as an elected School Committee member on the Northborough (K-8) and Northborough-Southborough Regional (Algonquin 9-12) School Committees.
Lundberg received a B.S. in business administration from Worcester State College. She completed graduate coursework at Simmons College and Cambridge College and received a master of education from Endicott College.

Heaton is the acting principal of Marblehead High School. Before this, she was the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Marblehead High School. She was previously the world language curriculum coordinator for the Westford Public Schools and a Latin teacher at Marblehead High School, Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, Norwood High School and began her career as a Latin teacher in Fairfax County, Va.

Heaton has a B.A. in classics from Randolph Macon College and a master of arts in teaching, classics from Vanderbilt University. She completed the principal/assistant principal licensure program, Merrimack Leadership Academy through Fitchburg State University.

This story was published at 11:45 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

AHS junior tops public-speaking competition

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For Jessi Kirchner, a junior at Arlington High, public speaking pays off.

She took away a first place last weekend in a Lions Club speech contest at a district competition among four students in Dedham.

For her speech titled "What is the power of 'Just One'?" she received $1,000, a prize she says is going to a college fund.

Lauren Schultz, a teacher of English at AHS, wrote in an email Feb. 25: "She practiced hard, her speech was well written ... but her delivery this Saturday really took the cake.

"She truly had the entire audience enthralled and even motivated!

"To top it off, she was given a solid cash prize for the win."

The contest took place at the Dedham Hilton at the annual District 33K Lions conference. The speeches were delivered in front of about 100 people, which included Lions from the district as well as family, friends and community members.

Of the other three contestants, two are seniors and one is a sophomore.

Kirchner moves on to the state level of the competition in April, where she has the chance to win a sizable scholarship.

This story was published Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

4 finalists for AHS principal met public

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Four finalists for the position of Arlington High School principal have met teachers, students, parents and administrators.

Meeting the public Tuesday, Feb. 12, were Matthew Poska, from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.; and Shirley Lundberg, from 7:30 – 8:15 p.m. The next evening Matthew Janger was held from 6:30 to 7:15 and Debra Heaton, from 7:30 to 8:15. All sessions were at the AHS Media Center.

Here are brief biographies the administration provided:

Poska is the principal of Briscoe Middle School in Beverly. Before that, he was the assistant principal of Beverly High School and the assistant principal and director of athletics at Saugus High School. Poska was a history and social studies teacher at Lynn English High School and at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn. Shee received a B.A. in history/secondary education from Merrimack College, and a master of education in secondary school administration from Salem State College.

She is a candidate for a doctorate in education in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Lundberg is the director of academics for Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. Before that, she was the lead teacher and a mathematics teacher at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. She has also served as an elected School Committee member on the Northborough (K-8) and Northborough-Southborough Regional (Algonquin 9-12) School Committees.
Lundberg received a B.S. in business administration from Worcester State College. She completed graduate coursework at Simmons College and Cambridge College and received a master of education from Endicott College.

Janger is the principal of Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Maine. Before that, he was an English teacher at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. Janger was previously an elementary school principal in Ann Arbor and has several years of experience in education research.

He has a B.A. in English from Williams College, an MBA in public and private management from Yale University, a master of education in educational administration from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D from the University of Michigan.

Heaton is the acting principal of Marblehead High School. Before this, she was the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Marblehead High School. She was previously the world language curriculum coordinator for the Westford Public Schools and a Latin teacher at Marblehead High School, Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, Norwood High School and began her career as a Latin teacher in Fairfax County, Va.

Heaton has a B.A. in classics from Randolph Macon College and a master of arts in teaching, classics from Vanderbilt University. She completed the principal/assistant principal licensure program, Merrimack Leadership Academy through Fitchburg State University.

Mary Villano has been the interim principal following the retirement of Charles Skidmore in 2011. She is expected to retire in June.

This story was published Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, and updated Feb. 15.

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