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Paul Plummer named principal of South Hadley middle school

Paul Plummer of Brookfield has been named the new principal of the Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley.
JERREY ROBERTS

Paul Plummer of Brookfield has been named the new principal of the Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley. JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

He will replace former middle school principal Erica Faginski-Stark, who in July will become the director of curriculum and grants management for the district.

Plummer, 46, is currently the assistant principal at the Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow. He said he is drawn to working with middle school students because he is interested in helping to guide them through the transitions they face.

“The age is a unique age that they are turning from young elementary children into young adults,” Plummer said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s a dramatic change during that period of time when they’re in middle school.”

He said it is important to listen to students and offer support when needed, while at the same time remembering that students might not want to be perceived as “different” and therefore might be hesitant to reach out.

Plummer has 10 years of experience teaching science at the middle school level. For two years he was the head of the middle school science department at Amherst Regional Middle School, where he also served in his first administrative role as interim assistant principal, a post he held for two years.

He said that as an administrator he feels it is important to keep in one’s mind what it is like to be in front of a classroom.

“I always said to myself: I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be a teacher,” Plummer said.

Plummer is expected to begin his new position in early July.

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