Two Hopkins Academy principal finalists to be interviewed Monday
HADLEY — Interim Superintendent Donna Moyer has chosen two finalists for the position of principal at Hopkins Academy. The candidates will be in town for interviews with the School Committee on Monday.
The candidates, who were chosen from 52 applicants, are Daniel Roy, who is currently principal of Wilbraham Middle School, and Brian Beck, who serves as principal of Athol High School. Roy will be interviewed at 6:45 p.m. and Beck will be interviewed at 7:45 p.m.
Moyer said that the district had 42 applications for the position, and interviewed five semi-finalists. She said the semi-finalists were all high- quality educators who were qualified to lead the school. She chose the two finalists that will be visiting Monday after extensive interviews and site visits.
“They have different leadership styles,” said Moyer. “Really what it’s going to come down to in the end is what do we think is the best match for Hopkins.”
Moyer said the principal of Hopkins has to have a diverse set of skills because the school is small and only has one administrator, and she is looking for a principal who will be able to implement innovative ideas in a collaborative way.
She said that the greatest challenge the school faces is providing enough offerings to stay competitive, so that it does not lose students to other public schools through school choice.
Beck, who lives n Turners Falls, has been principal of Athol High School since 2010. In his letter of interest, he highlighted his experience improving the graduation and dropout rates at the school despite the challenge of a student population with many low-income students, and his ability to increase the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams.
Last year, Athol High School served 390 students, 52 percent of whom were low-income, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Prior to working at Athol High School, Beck was principal of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland for four years, and assistant principal of the same school for two years. A graduate of Worcester State College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and sociology and a master’s degree in education, Beck also has six years of experience as a teacher.
Roy lives in Wilbraham, where he has been principal of the middle school since 2009. Wilbraham Middle School has 597 students in grades six through eight. Prior to his position as principal, Roy served as assistant principal at Quaboag Regional Middle and High School in Warren.
In his application, Roy said that because of his experience at Quaboag, he understands the “unique challenges and opportunities” of working in a smaller school that serves both middle and high school students. He has 10 years of experience working as a middle school teacher.
The finalists have already been through a thorough screening process. Close to 40 people — including parents, students, teachers and administrators — made up four screening committees. Members of the committees met with candidates at Hopkins, reviewed application materials, and went on site visits to the candidates’ schools.