Westfield High principal Carter resigns

WESTFIELD – Superintendent Suzanne Scallion announced today that Westfield High School Principal Jonathan Carter has resigned effective August 21. Carter and his family will be relocating to Connecticut where he will be pursuing graduate studies in education law. He is also committed to spending more time with his young sons, ages 4 & 6, Scallion said in a statement.
“We wish him the best, of course,” she said.
In his letter of resignation to the superintendent, Carter said: “I appreciate the opportunity that I have had to work with so many wonderful students, families, and educators during my two years in Westfield. I have learned a lot from you and the other talented educators in Westfield, and together we have accomplished many great things on behalf of Westfield kids. Together we have moved Westfield High School forward, as illustrated by our improved MCAS results, best-ever Advanced Placement results, and even an exchange partnership with a high school in Denmark!
I leave with a heavy heart, but with the belief that Westfield High School and Westfield Public Schools will continue to thrive and prepare ALL students to meet the 21st century rigors and demands of college, the workforce, and our ever-changing community.”
Dennis Duquette, currently principal at South Middle School, has been named interim principal at the high school. Scallion said that Duquette previously served as a superintendent and principal before coming to Westfield. She called him “upbeat, personable, and a motivator.” Scallion said Duquette will continue at South until the end of the month, then transition to the high school.
Justin Baker, currently assistant principal at North Middle School, will be the interim principal at South Middle School. Baker has worked as a teacher for Westfield for several years and is enthused about the opportunity to team with the staff at South. Scallion called Baker, “one of our rising stars.”
Scallion said the position of assistant principal at North Middle School, which Baker is vacating, is a contract position that will be posted.
Scallion said that the hope is that both interim positions will become permanent.
“They’re both interim until June 30 of next year, at which time we’ll get to decide and they’ll get to decide. We know how successful they are in their current positions,” she said.
“Both Mr. Duquette and Mr. Baker possess a match in leadership skills to the needs in their new schools. While not an ideal time for administrative changes, we’re very pleased that we have the talent in house to fill the positions,” she said.

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