I hope you have been enjoying the quieter days of summer. The halls of Hunnewell are shaping up thanks to the hard work of Larry, Tom, and their high school helpers, Ian and Shawn. Amy and I have been working during the summer to make plans and prepare for next year. I want to share a few staffing updates at Hunnewell for the 2016-17 school year.
I am pleased to announce that we have hired Mr. Devin Ligon to replace our beloved Toni Duval. Late last spring Joanne Grant, the Director of Health and Fitness, and I put together a hiring team. Serving on the committee were our own Toni Duval, Anna McGrath, and Katie Dexter. as well as John Griffith, Health and Fitness teacher at WHS, Kristen Walsh, Health and Fitness teacher at Upham, and Christina Gerst, Health and Fitness teacher at Fiske served on the committee. We had a strong pool of initial candidates that we narrowed down to three who were invited back to teach a demo lesson to our third graders. Devin’s ability to connect with the kids, combined with his positive energy, made him hands-down the best choice for Hunnewell. He has accepted Toni’s kind offer to support him through the transition and I know they have already met once this summer so he could see the inventory of equipment he will have.
On another note, Tasanee Lolonga resigned her fourth grade teaching position in mid-July. Tasanee has young children and made the decision to work closer to home and reduce her substantial commute. We will miss Tasanee, and I thank her for her years of commitment to the Hunnewell community! With this development, I did reach out to Lori Janiuk to share the option that she could return to Hunnewell given this new opening. After careful consideration, Lori chose to maintain her new position at Schofield, so I needed to interview for a new fourth grade teacher. I am excited to share that Kim Gamache will join our Hunnewell learning community.
Kim has extensive classroom experience having taught third grade in Lexington, MA since 2009. I had the pleasure of working with Kim in Lexington and was so excited that she was interested in this opening at Hunnewell. She is a true collaborator within her own team, with the Literacy and Math Specialists and the Special Education team. Kim also worked at the district level serving on Lexington’s Professional Learning Committee since 2013 and helping with their K-12 Science Review since 2014. I am excited for her to join the work that is underway at Hunnewell and see her as an excellent addition to our Hunnewell team and bench strength.
I also want to thank the interview team who took time out of their summer to participate and really helped me make my decision. Special thanks to Dr. Kim Pottratz, Katie Roberts, Katie Dexter, Marcia Sullivan and Kristine Perodeau for their time and commitment to Hunnewell.
Enjoy your remaining days of summer and I look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks!