Westfield Middle School principal finalists announced

WESTFIELD – Westfield Middle School Assistant Principal Jessica Kennedy and Amherst-Pelham Middle School Co-Principal Rebecca Thompson are the two finalists for the position of Westfield Middle School principal.

Current Westfield Middle School Principal Paul Newton is retiring June 30.

Newton came out of retirement to join Westfield Public Schools in August 2017 as  South Middle School principal, and subsequently led the transition committee for redistricting, having had experience with transitions in Enfield, Conn., where he was principal of Enrico Fermi High School from 2000 to 2016 when it merged with Enfield High School.

Kennedy joined the Westfield Public Schools in 2013. During her seven years, she has worked as an assistant principal at both the former North and South Middle schools. She is currently an assistant principal at Westfield Middle School. Prior to Westfield Public Schools, she taught middle school language arts in the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District in Southwick for five years. Kennedy received a bachelor’s in English secondary education, and a master’s in English literature from Westfield State University.
Thompson has 13 years of experience in education. She received a bachelor’s in English from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a master’s in education from Worcester State College. Thompson worked in Southbridge Public Schools for 11 years, serving as middle school principal for two years, associate middle school principal for one year, academic dean for two years, and a middle school language arts teacher for six years. Since 2018, Thompson served as co-principal in the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School.
Both candidates will be interviewing all day Feb. 27, according to Westfield Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski. They will be meeting with staff, students and administrators during the day.
Parents, guardians, and staff members are invited to meet and greet the candidates beginning at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Westfield Middle School. Each candidate will meet with community members individually for 30 minutes.
“With each administrative search, I take the time to review and consider the valuable input from all stakeholders prior to making my selection,” Czaporowski said.
The finalists were selected after a screening committee comprised of Westfield Middle School parents and staff, a district secondary principal, a School Committee member and central administrators reviewed all qualified applicants and interviewed a pool of candidates. Czaporowski accepted the slate of candidates from the screening committee on Feb. 14.
“Both candidates have experience and a passion for working with middle school students. I look forward to their interactions with the Westfield Middle School community on Feb. 27,” Czaporowski said.
The new principal will begin on July 1, Czaporowski said.

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