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Northampton High School vice principal Bryan Lombardi named one of three finalists for principal

Bryan Lombardi, NHS associate principal since 2007, Kevin M. Lalime, assistant principal at Springfield Central High School, and Gregg Michael Bringhenti, director of curriculum and instruction for Pembroke Academy, a public high school in Pembroke, N.H., were named finalists Friday by the 12-member search committee.

The panel selected the three finalists from a pool of 43 applicants to replace NHS Principal Nancy Athas, who is retiring this summer after five years on the job.

Parents and community members will have a chance to meet the finalists Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at NHS. School officials hope to announce their pick by May 22 for a start date of July 1.

Reached by phone Friday, Lombardi, 45, said he is “honored and excited for the opportunity to be considered for the principal’s position of what I consider to be an excellent school and school district.”

Lombardi, who lives in Florence, was associate principal of Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham from 2002 to 2007, according to his resume. His experience includes stints as a high school adjustment counselor for public schools in Wilbraham and West Springfield, and as a clinician for the Beacon programs in Greenfield.

Lombardi, who is married and has a son attending NHS, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Bridgewater State University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College.

Lalime, 33, of Longmeadow, has been an administrator for Springfield Central High School since 2009, his resume states. Prior to that, he served as dean of students for that city’s High School of Science and Technology and also taught social studies at high schools in Springfield and Dracut.

In an interview Friday, Lalime cited his experience dealing with parents and students and overseeing big-picture issues such as special education as skills he would bring to Northampton.

“I aspire to be a building principal,” he said. “I think my experience as an administrator has given me great insight.”

Lalime has a bachelor’s degree in history at Providence College and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Brighenti, who lives in Concord, N.H., has been curriculum director at Pembroke Academy since 2011. Prior to that, he was the school’s assistant principal for nine years and also taught chemistry at Concord High School.

Brighenti, 40, who grew up in Lee, said the mission and values of NHS are a match with his own.

“The student-centered focus is something I feel very strongly about,” he said in an interview Friday. “Also the rigor of the classes — the feeling that we need to prepare everyone for college readiness — and the sense of community.”

Brighenti holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in education from the University of New Hampshire.

The NHS principal’s search is one of three administrative searches recently launched in Northampton.

Last week, the School Department announced that Sarah J.B. Madden will be the new principal of R.K. Finn Ryan Road School beginning in July. Searches are also in progress for a new schools chief to replace Superintendent Brian Salzer, who is leaving in July for a job overseas, and for Leeds School principal to replace Joseph Smith, who is resigning as of June 30.

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