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White Brook Middle school Principal Allison Rebello to begin new job at city elementary school

— Allison Rebello, principal of White Brook Middle School since 2009, is moving into a new position as assistant principal of Center/Pepin School for health reasons beginning in August.

Rebello, 37, who is a breast cancer survivor, announced her plans to middle school staff Thursday. The assistant principal’s position at the elementary school is a new position. School Superintendent Nancy Follansbee said the district will seek an interim principal to replace Rebello at White Brook.

Rebello, who lives in Chicopee, said she made the decision to change jobs “with mixed emotions” but did so in order to take care of her health.

Reached at her office Friday, she said she was gratified to be able to stay with the city schools. “I love being in Easthampton, the parents and students I know here,” Rebello said. “The teachers I work with are also really excellent.”

Follansbee said she also wanted to keep Rebello in Easthampton.

“Allison will be very much missed in her position at White Brook but at the same time, everyone is pleased she will remain in the district and will stay on the leadership team,” Follansbee said.

Hiring an interim replacement at White Brook, “will give us more time to plan,” Follansbee said. “At this point in the year, it serves us better to seek an interim.”

White Brook is the second principal’s search underway in Easthampton. Earlier this month. Center/Pepin School Principal Robert D. Orlando announced he is leaving this summer for a job with a private school in Springfield.

In a letter distributed to school staff Thursday, Rebello wrote that she was “saddened that I will not be able to work with all of you, but am hoping you can support me in this decision to take care of myself and my health.”

She praised her middle school colleagues for the “constant dedication you give to your students day in and day out.” Rebello also planned to mail a letter to White Brook families, informing them of her job change.

Rebello took the helm at White Brook in 2009 after four years as assistant principal at the Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley. During her tenure as head of the Easthampton middle school — which enrolls 481 students in fifth through eighth grade — she launched White Brook’s inaugural student senate and oversaw changes in math and literacy programs.

The assistant principal’s job at Center/Pepin was advertised at an annual salary of between $59,000 to $65,000. The interim White Brook principal’s position was posted Friday at a salary range of $85,000 to $93,000.

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