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Granby superintendent names 3 new administrators

Cavallo will replace Peter Dufresne, who has accepted a position as principal of Thornton Burgess Middle School in Hampden. In a phone interview, Rodriguez said it was understandable that Dufresne, who lives in Wilbraham and had been principal since 2010, decided to take a position closer to home.

Cavallo, of Chicopee, previously worked at the Junior-Senior High School for nine years as the assistant principal, and has been with the district for about 11 years.

“I think Jon has been (loyal), and continues to show his loyalty to Granby,” Rodriguez told the School Committee.

Rodriguez said she had been reluctant initially to ask Cavallo to step in because she did not want to disrupt East Meadow School, one of two elementary schools in Granby. Before choosing him, she had appointed a screening committee for a new principal, with Cavallo as the chairman.

Rodriguez said there were some eight applicants for the position, but none had the desired experience in working with both middle and high school grade levels, so she decided to appoint Cavallo as the new principal.

Replacing Cavallo is fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Champagne, who has been with the district for 13 years. She previously worked as a sixth-grade special education teacher, and then as a sixth-grade classroom teacher before teaching fifth grade.

Champagne, of South Hadley, will serve as interim principal of East Meadow School for one year.

Rodriguez said she had wanted to replace Cavallo with someone who was already known to the families, staff and students.

East Meadow fifth-grade teacher Alycia Ogg, who before Champagne’s appointment was going to move to the fourth grade, will remain as a fifth-grade teacher in Champagne’s place.

Anthony Ryan, who recently retired from his position as assistant superintendent for Hampshire Regional Schools, will replace Kimberly Merrick, who has resigned from her position as director of pupil services for the district. Ryan, of Florence, will serve as interim director of pupil services until the end of December while Rodriguez looks for a permanent replacement.

Ryan had previously served in a similar role as director of people personnel services for the Hampshire Regional School District from 1989 to 1995.

In other business, the School Committee accepted a new wellness policy for the school district, presented by Karen Szolesek, nurse leader for the district. The policy takes steps to further prevent danger from food allergies, such as requiring that teachers who choose to celebrate holidays serve only packaged foods with nutritional and ingredient information. No food will be served at student birthday parties, according to the policy.

Initially, Szolesek said, she had wanted to eliminate food from classrooms, but after a survey by parents and staff showed that the community preferred to allow food in class, she decided to meet them “halfway.”

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