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Assistant principal Darius Modestow to head Frontier Regional

Former assistant principal Darius Modestow will become principal of Frontier Regional School, starting July 1.
KATHLEEN McKIERNAN

Former assistant principal Darius Modestow will become principal of Frontier Regional School, starting July 1. KATHLEEN McKIERNAN Purchase photo reprints »

— The assistant principal at the Frontier Regional School will serve as Martha Barrett’s successor.

Starting July 1, Darius Modestow will become principal for the 607 students at the regional school. He will succeed Barrett, the current principal, who has been named incoming superintendent of schools for the Frontier Regional and Union 38 school districts.

On Friday, Modestow penned the contract. He will be paid $98,075, an increase of $8,536 over his current salary.

Modestow, originally from Worthington, began as assistant principal six years ago. Before that, he was assistant principal at Mahar Regional High School for two years. Previously, he was an assistant director and a middle school coordinator in private day schools in California.

“I enjoyed that every day there was a new challenge. You don’t know what the next day will bring,” Modestow said.

His experience also goes beyond the school halls. He has been a coach for both basketball and volleyball and acted as an athletic director.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and a master’s in educational leadership from Bridgewater State College.

As an educator, Modestow hopes to do what his teachers in Worthington did for him — work hard to help students love learning.

“They inspired me to go into teaching and do what they did for me,” he said.

Over the past six years, Modestow has helped establish ed-line, which allows students and parents to view their grades online. He helped lead the anti-bullying task force to bring new policies to the district and oversaw the renovation of the new fitness and wellness center.

“One of the things here is the great administrative team,” Modestow said. “We really have worked together. We try to figure out what’s best for the school.” With common sense, a sense of humor and a respect for students, Barrett believes her successor is the right person for the job.

“He’s worked really hard in the last six years,” said Barrett.

Outgoing Superintendent Regina Nash picked Modestow for the job because of the fairness and respect he demonstrates in working with a large cross-section of students, his excellent communication skills and his enthusiasm and humor. Nash believes the new principal will continue fostering a positive culture and school community.

Modestow will take the reins in a volatile time for the school.

The new state-mandated teacher evaluations will unfold next year and the school is aligning its curriculum with the state Common Core standards.

The advantage for Modestow, however, is the school’s former principal is only a stone’s throw away.

“We’ve been preparing this year and I’m happy I’ve been a part of that,” said Modestow, referring to the teacher evaluations. “I’m happy to have Marti as a superintendent. She knows what’s happening at the ground level.”

The two administrators believe each of their transitions will be smooth for the district.

“We’ve worked well together for the last six years. It’s good for the district that there won’t be any upheaval,” said Barrett.

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