William Evans named Easthampton High School’s new principal

  • William Evans of Amherst, will be the new Easthampton High School principal starting on July 1.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/28/2019 1:07:00 PM

EASTHAMPTON — William Evans, outgoing principal of North Brookfield High School, will take over as principal of Easthampton High School on July 1.

“It seems like a terrific school,” Evans, 54, of Amherst, said. “The people there are very positive about the environment they are building and the work they are doing.”

Evans has spent the past decade as a teacher and administrator in school districts in Brooklyn, New York, Springfield, South Hadley and North Brookfield. He has been the principal of North Brookfield High School since July 2012, and worked as an assistant principal in South Hadley from July 2007 to 2012.

“I was looking for someone that is a thoughtful leader, that is a good listener, and will continue to enhance the vision we have around bringing equity and inclusion to our high school and all our schools,” Superintendent Allison LeClair said. “(Evans) brings a lot of those skills with him. He is going to be the kind of leader that will help to unify the staff.”

Evans was among the three finalists that LeClair interviewed during the hiring process; the other two candidates were East Longmeadow High School Assistant Principal Robert Marchewka and Weymouth High School Principal Alan Strauss.

An 11-member committee consisting of students, parents of students, faculty selected by the teachers union, and school staff searched for outgoing Easthampton Principal Kevin Burke’s replacement. The committee chose six candidates for LeClair to interview.

Burke announced in February that he was stepping down as principal of Easthampton High School on June 30 at the end of his three-year contract. He has been principal of the high school since 2016 and worked for the school district for 11 years. Burke has since accepted a job as principal of Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield.

During his tenure, the state attorney general’s office found in 2017 that black and Hispanic students at Easthampton High School had been disciplined more severely than white students.

The high school is currently in the second year of a three-year plan to help the school become more a more equitable and inclusive environment. Evans said that he and LeClair share a common vision for a path forward.

Evans said he plans on looking at the disciplinary data in the AG’s report and to compare it with how that data is trending following the conclusion of the investigation.

“The important thing is that there is a process in place,” Evans said. “It’s not my first role to go in and change things. It’s important to see what has been done and effective and see what I can do to move that forward.”

He added, “There is a sense of excitement of what the school can do and we are probably poised to do good work together, myself and the faculty.”

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com.
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