Rossi leaving Dallin; retired Andover principal named interim

The Dallin Elementary School will have an interim principal in the 2012-13 school year after the current leader, Tara Rossi, has announced she is leaving after three years.

Dr. Eileen Driscoll Woods, principal of the year in 1998, will take over at Dallin, Superintendent Kathy Bodie has said. Woods retired from the Andover public schools in 2008 after a long career in Andover.

Woods met parents at Dallin Tuesday, June 19, in the library.

Rossi said she is leaving because of her long commute from New Hampshire and a family decision to remain in the seacoast area.

In an email May 31, she wrote: "I have greatly enjoyed my three years as principal here. I want to thank the teachers, students, parents, administration, school committee, and community, for their support during my tenure.

"Dallin is a very special school and I shall cherish the relationships that I’ve made with the staff, students, and the Dallin community. The strong value that the community places on education is a sustaining force in helping to support our students’ recognition of the importance of their education. The Dallin staff is the most passionate, dedicated, hard-working and enjoyable people I’ve ever known.

"I sincerely thank you for your support of the school and me. I wish you all the best."

Rossi succeeded Wallis Raemer, who moved up to interim assistant superintendent and has served in that position until this month, when a permanent assistant superintendent, Laura S. Chesson, was named.

Bodie announced Rossi's replacement June 12, writing, "I am very confident that Dr. Woods will provide excellent leadership next year while we begin search for a permanent principal."

Bodie said Tuesday's meeting will not be the only opportunity for parents to meet Woods before school reopens in September. Notice of future events will be sent to parents over the summer, she said.

Woods served as principal of Sanborn Elementary School from 1985-1991.ln 1991, Sanborn was designated a Blue Ribbon School.

After serving one year as assistant superintendent, Woods became principal of South Elementary School and served from 1992 to 2008.

Before her years in Andover, Woods worked in Reading as the gifted and talented coordinator and a teacher in grades three through six.

Woods holds National Board Certification in mentoring principals.

She has received many other awards, including the Pathfinder Technology Leadership Award (2003) and Andover's Unsung Hero Award (2005).

Woods received her Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She holds a master of education from University of Massachusetts in school administration.

Her undergraduate degree is from Boston College with a bachelor of arts in sociology with a minor in education.

This story was published Saturday, June 16, 2012.