Superintendent of Schools John Macero informed the Winthrop School Committee on Thursday night, that he has been able to “creatively fund” half-time assistant principal positions in each of the town’s elementary schools on an interim basis, with the temporary assistant positions taking effect this month and lasting through the end of the school year, with no impact to the school budget.
According to Macero, his goal is to be able to provide permanent, full-time assistant principals in both schools in the future, but given the amount of work that is required of the two full-time principals, he wanted to at least give them enough help this year, so that they could meet their obligations to the school district and the students.
“We’ve been asking the principals at all the schools to spend more time in the classrooms, evaluating teachers and assessing the learning that is going on, but without assistant principals, it has been difficult for them to do that,” explained Macero.
According to Macero, he was able to use savings within the school budget and combine that with existing part-time teaching positions to appoint two people to the interim, part-time assistant principal positions, with the Cummings School appointment beginning on Monday, February 13 and the Gorman-Fort Banks School appointment beginning on February 27, at no additional cost to the school budget.
Norah Grimes, a part-time teacher at the Gorman-Fort Banks will serve in the afternoons at the school as an assistant principal and Jennifer O’Connell, a part-time teacher at the Gorman-Fort Banks will go to the Cummings School in the afternoons to serve there as an assistant principal.
Macero said that both teachers have earned certification as elementary school principals, and both will largely be responsible for student discipline and other duties as assigned by the building principals, but neither will be involved in completing teacher evaluations at their respective schools.
“I also want to thank Pauline Boyajian, the president of the teacher’s union and Jim Burke the president of the school principals union for working with the school district to help make these temporary, assistant positions possible,” said Macero.
Macero reiterated that no promises of future full-time positions have been made to either of the two interim, part-time assistant principals. However, he did acknowledge that it is a long-term goal of his to create full-time assistant principal positions permanently.