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Two finalists for NHS principal to speak Wednesday

  • John Provost, superintendent of Northampton Public Schools. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING 

Staff Writer
Published: 11/12/2019 3:06:09 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Public Schools will soon name a new principal.

The district announced two finalists for the position, Lori Vaillancourt, interim principal of Northampton High School and previously an associate principal of the school, and Ted McCarthy, principal of Sutton High School and previously an assistant principal of South Hadley High School. In total, 19 candidates applied, according to Superintendent John Provost.

On Wednesday, both candidates will speak at a public forum from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Northampton High School auditorium. Gordon Noseworthy, the principal of the high school from 1981 to 1996, will facilitate the event.

Provost told the Gazette that “everyone who participates will be given the opportunity to give written feedback, which will be collected that night, and I will consider it carefully in making my final decision.”

During the day on Wednesday, candidates will tour the school and talk with faculty, staff and groups including the Parent Teacher Organization and School Council.

Last May, then-principal Bryan Lombardi announced after more than a decade at Northampton High School that he was leaving the district over the summer to become principal of Stoneham High School, which is north of Boston. Vaillancourt, who was an associate principal, was then named interim principal.

Vaillancourt, 43, lives in Easthampton and is in her fourth year at Northampton High School. “I am incredibly invested in Northampton High School,” she said. “I feel I’ve worked very closely with my colleagues here to move us forward. It’s work I want to continue to do.”

McCarthy, 46, lives in Amherst and first taught at HEC Academy, a public special education program that is now part of the Collaborative for Educational Services. “I spent the first ten years of my teaching career in Northampton,” he said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work in the high school with young people and teachers.”

The district hopes to make a final decision by Thanksgiving, Provost said, and the new principal will start either in the second semester of this school year in January or in the next fiscal year in July.

Greta Jochem can be reached at

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