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Finalists chosen for R.K. Finn Ryan Road School principal

Superintendent Brian Salzer, who is chairing the eight-member search committee for a new Ryan Road school leader, said he was encouraged by the applications that came in — including from within the city schools. There were 33 applicants for the post.

“We had a high quality pool of candidates and we have three outstanding finalists,” Salzer said. “It shows that Northampton is still a place that attracts experience.”

He said he hopes to make an appointment by May 3.

The post came open when Margaret Riddle announced her retirement after more than 30 years with city schools, seven years as head of Ryan Road.

Finalists are: Sarah J.B. Madden, principal of Brayton Elementary in North Adams; David M. Potter, principal of Patrick E. Bowe Elementary in Chicopee and a former teacher at Shutesbury Elementary; and Maureen T. Ryan, associate principal of Newton School in Greenfield and a former teacher at Ryan Road.

Community members will have an opportunity to meet and talk with the finalists beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the environmental lab at Ryan Road school in Florence. Madden will be first at 2 p.m., followed by Ryan at 2:30 p.m. and Potter at 3 p.m.

Maureen T. Ryan

Ryan, who lives in Florence, has been associate principal of the Newton School for grades K-3 in Greenfield since 2011, her resume states. The job duties are the same as those of principal, according to the Greenfield school district.

Ryan taught physical education at Ryan Road from 2007 to 2011. She also did an internship as head teacher at the school under Riddle’s supervision to earn her administrator’s license.

In her cover letter, Ryan said that a return to the Northampton district “would be a dream come true” — including the ability to bike to work.

“I am a resident and invested member of the Northampton community who understands and cares about education,” she wrote. “I am a dedicated professional with a strong sense of teamwork, community awareness and a terrific sense of humor.”

Sarah J.B. Madden

A resident of Williamstown, Madden taught for 21 years in that community and at the Brayton Elementary School in North Adams, where she is now principal. The school serves pre-kindergarten through seventh-graders. It also houses North Adams’ autism, life skills and transition programs.

Madden also served as principal at Hancock Central School in Hancock for two years. Madden was also a finalist in the recently concluded search for a principal at Crocker Farm school in Amherst.

In a phone interview Friday, Madden said she has retained her enthusiasm for public education since her college years at Mount Holyoke.

“I love schools and think they are the most important places in the community,” she said.

“As an educator, I’m deeply committed to studying schools, identifying problem areas and then working on improvement,” she said.

David M. Potter

Potter, who has been principal of Bowe Elementary in Chicopee since 2010, previously served as a teaching principal for a pre-school through sixth grade international school in the Republic of Congo. A resident of South Deerfield,

Potter has also held jobs as an interim principal at a Boston middle school, a Spanish teacher at high schools in Baldwinville and Orange, and a fifth and sixth grade teacher in Shutesbury.

Potter did not immediately return phone and email messages from the Gazette Friday, seeking comment.

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