Winthrop resident Bobbie Finocchio has been appointed principal of the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School.
Finocchio, 29, has been a special education teacher at the school for the past six years. She succeeds former principal Brian Gill, who left to become the principal at the Georgetown Middle School.
Superintendent of Schools John Macero made the appointment after receiving 39 applications for the position. A six-member committee conducted interviews with six candidates before Macero, new Assistant Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard, and Gorman/Fort Banks Principal Ilene Pearson conducted the second round of interviews.
“What I liked was that everything Bobbie talked about was for the students’ best interests,” said Macero. “She was very diplomatic in her conversations with the team. The team felt that whatever push we’d give to her, she always turned it around and said she would work for the betterment of our students.”
Macero also liked the fact that Finocchio has been a member of the faculty at the Cummings School.
“She’s been in the building and it’s a difficult time to put a new principal in,” said Macero. “She’s familiar with the students in that school. She’s familiar with the staff. She’s also someone who has outstanding leadership abilities. I just felt very comfortable in selecting her to become the principal.”
Finocchio is a 2000 graduate of Winthrop High School and 2004 graduate of Regis College where she received a degree in Psychology and played on the tennis and softball teams. She taught at the Gifford School in Weston before joining the Cummings faculty as a special needs teacher in 2005. She has also been a mentor teacher and the Section 504 plan coordinator at the school.
Finocchio holds Master’s degrees from Salem State College (Educational Leadership) and Regis College (Special Education). She has studied abroad in Italy.
“I’m very excited to be the new principal,” said Finocchio. “I think it’s a great fit. I worked with Mr. Gill in multiple roles as a special education teacher and a mentor. I also did my leadership practicum under his guidance. I was also a part of the hiring committee.”
Finocchio said she has always enjoyed education and working with children. “I knew I wanted to work with special needs students in some capacity very early on when I worked with Mr. Donnelly in high school. So it’s always been a passion of mine.”
Finocchio said she was “honored’ to be selected from a large field of candidates for the principal’s position.
“I feel very supported by my colleagues and the community,” said Finocchio. “I feel honored that people believe that I can do this job well. We’ve always had a great group of students at the school and it’s a very close-knit community. The teachers are really invested in their learning. It’s not just a school, it’s a family.”
Asked about becoming a principal at the age of 29, Finocchio said, “I have to give it to Mr. Macero and his committee for their very progressive thinking, for feeling confident in somebody so young. I did run into a lot of situations where people weren’t so keen on hiring somebody of my age which was disheartening because I don’t think my age really has much to do with my skills.”
Finocchio said she has stepped down from her current position as softball coach at Saugus High School. A former softball pitcher at Winthrop High for coach David Guffey, Finocchio was named the NEC Small Division coach of the year this season after leading her team to the title.
She is the daughter of Billie Finocchio and the late Vinnie Finocchio. She also has a sister Stefanie.
“My father would have been so proud – he would have been running around the town telling everyone,” said Finocchio. “He was a Winthrop guy.”
Finocchio will officially begin as principal on Aug. 22.
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