Meet the finalists: Finn and Woodward principal candidates site visit with Meet & Greet – Monday

by beth on April 6, 2017

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Above: If you want to meet the final candidate for principal at either Finn or Woodward, make time on Monday. (images from school website)

As I posted earlier today, the finalists for Finn and Woodward principals have been announced. (For the controversy around that, click here.)

Site visits for the candidates are scheduled for Monday, April 10th and include opportunities for parents/the community to meet them.

Only one finalist has been selected for each school. They are:

  • Finn Principal – Varsha Desai, Principal of the John F. Kennedy Elementary School
  • Woodward Principal – Steven Mucci, Assistant Principal of Louise A. Conley Elementary School in Whitman

Between 10:00 – 11:00 am and again at 4:00 – 5:00 pm parents, community members and SOS volunteers are invited to meet the principals at the respective schools.

For details on the finalists’ backgrounds and the scheduled visits, see the announcement letter.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mike fuce April 10, 2017 at 8:40 AM

For the life of me I do not understand how the superintendent and the school boards approve of Varsha Desai. She has bounced around incessantly from position to position in her employment career and in my opinion is not a good selection for our schools. We should hire a person who has taught and led in Southborough Schools with a good track record of employment. This is yet another unacceptable recommendation by school officials.

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2 Diane Romm April 10, 2017 at 1:18 PM

And to think that there will be THREE new principals in the Fall (Finn, Woodward, and Algonquin). Things are just not adding up to make sense and to be in the best interest of the students.

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3 Mark Ford April 10, 2017 at 1:35 PM

It looks as though Varsha Desai taught in Shrewsbury for a number of years, was principal of the Millville elementary school for four years, then North Andover for less than a year, then Blackstone for the past year. I may be wrong on the timeline…

Also when I was poking around to try and get a handle on the dates, I noticed that she’s also a finalist for a school in Marlborough, and was scheduled to visit that school last Friday, April 7th. Maybe she withdrew her candidacy at the Francis J. Kane school, but it’s still up on their website. https://www.mps-edu.org/Domain/11

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4 Mark Ford April 10, 2017 at 1:38 PM

Beth,

Oops–never mind, my oversight. North Andover preceded Millville. So it went North Andover, Millville, Blackstone.

The Kane School website does reflect her as a finalist, however.

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5 Diane Romm April 11, 2017 at 6:32 AM

Mark,
That’s interesting information and great investigative reporting! (-: Thank you for posting the link to the Marlborough site because when they announced their “finalists,” they listed three people. I don’t know about others but when I read Christine M. Johnson’s recent announcement of the site visits, “Principal Finalists Selected,” I expected to see more than one name for each school. Instead, there was one name for Woodward and one for Finn.

Let Kane have Desai (if they want her) and let us give Clayton Ryan the position he deserves at the Finn School. If he doesn’t want it, he can turn it down.

On a different note, I noticed that both Woodward and Neary are doing away from input from the parents regarding class placements. “This year, we have changed our practice. We will not e accepting letters during the placement process.” Does anyone have any opinion or concerns about this.

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6 Mark Ford April 11, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Diane,

I mentioned the Kane school finalists because I too thought it odd that we’ve confined ourselves to one candidate, but Kane has not–and apparently Desai hasn’t focused her effort solely on Southborough, either…unless there’s some agreement that should she be offered the S’Boro position she’ll immediately withdraw her name from all other positions.

I have no opinion on Desai, and while I really like Mr. Ryan…I guess the lesson learned is not to take things for granted. Gotta get your opinion and preferences known.

I don’t like the lack of parental input…it must be the case that there are clear preferences in placement which makes it much harder to fill all classes. I’ll bet parents are trying to avoid specific teachers.

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7 beth April 11, 2017 at 10:44 AM

In recent years, parents weren’t allowed to make requests for or against specific teachers. But, letters were allowed to make other requests or provide important context to consider. The principals issued the caveat that they couldn’t promise to accommodate requests, but they would consider them.

I was personally disappointed that wasn’t allowed this year. But, I assumed that the process was too burdensome with too many requests.

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8 RTZ April 11, 2017 at 1:23 PM

The problem, according to my daughter’s teacher, was that so many families have started writing letters asking that their child be placed with certain kids and not with others, that it has become a logistical nightmare to try and create balanced classes. She noted that very often they will receive a letter from one family requesting that two children be together, and a letter from the other family requesting that the same two children NOT be together! The change makes sense to me. Requests should be reserved for situations where there is a clear need to place children together or apart.

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