Published April 1, 2020


LYNNFIELD — That’s a wrap.

The School Committee unanimously voted to offer the superintendent of schools job to Tewksbury Memorial High School Principal Kristen Vogel, pending successful contract negotiations, during a virtual meeting on Monday. She accepted the job after the vote.

Vogel will succeed Superintendent Jane Tremblay, who will be retiring this June after leading the school system for the past six years.

The School Committee also interviewed Reading Assistant Superintendent Christine Kelley for the position. Andover High School Principal Phil Conrad withdrew from consideration after agreeing to become Bedford Public Schools’ next superintendent last week.

Vogel has served as Tewksbury Memorial High School’s principal since 2014. She also worked as an assistant principal at Bedford High School and Swampscott High School. She taught social studies and history at Swampscott High and Governor Dummer Academy. She was also Governor Dummer Academy’s women’s ice hockey coach and assistant field hockey coach.

“For the past 30 years, my world has focused on creating spaces and opportunities for students to grow social-emotionally and academically,” said Vogel. “When we share a vision of what we want to achieve and commit to work together, we can achieve it.”

After the two public interviews concluded this week, School Committee member Tim Doyle said he was impressed with Vogel’s interview with the 14-member Superintendent Screening Committee as well as her interview with the school board.

“I see someone who has a very strong set of core values and has had those tested a couple of times,” said Doyle. “She has stood behind them and has not compromised. That is what I want in a leader for the district. I have worked with four superintendents, and those with strong core values and conviction succeeded and those that didn’t weren’t successful. Kristen shined early on and she continued to shine tonight. I can envision her leading this district and doing some great things.”

School Committee Vice Chairman Rich Sjoberg agreed.

“For me, it comes down to who is the right fit,” said Sjoberg. “I want someone who can match and expand the vision of the Lynnfield school district to prepare and challenge all students to meet their full potential for success as a responsible citizen and global contributor. Our next superintendent should build upon an excellent management foundation through the continued implementation of building growth of leadership capacity and direct oversight of our ever-evolving Lynnfield Public School improvement plans and district strategy. Decisions are made with our brains, but a commitment is made with your heart. I believe Mrs. Vogel is the best person to steer Lynnfield’s commitment in an excellent direction.”

Sjoberg also said he believes Vogel will develop a positive working relationship with administrators and teachers as they “continue to work tirelessly for our students.”

School Committee member Stacy Dahlstedt was impressed with Vogel’s leadership skills.

“There is a calmness to Kristen, but she is also very decisive,” said Dahlstedt. “She has made some very difficult decisions, and she stuck by what she felt was right. I really respect that. I think she will be able dive into this role. I think she will listen to and respect the Administrative Leadership Team, teachers and parents.”

School Committeeman Phil McQueen said Vogel is a “strong, well-qualified candidate.”

“I think Kristen is going to listen to people and learn from people,” said McQueen. “She understands why teachers do what they do. Students are her compass, and that is what we want in a superintendent.”

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman concurred with his colleagues’ point of view.

“There is a political element to this role,” said Hayman. “A couple of town officials praised her ability to read the political landscape and said she understands how to lead without needing to have the final say on things.”

Hayman was also impressed with Vogel’s decisive decision-making. One of Vogel’s colleagues told him she leads “with open ears and a open heart.”

“I think that is going to be really important as we move forward,” said Hayman. “I like the steadiness of her career. She has stayed in positions long enough to get good at them. I think that is important for us. We saw a lot of candidates who applied for a lot of different superintendent positions. The impression I got from her is she is looking to be a superintendent in a place that is the right fit for her. She did a lot of research about this district to know that this was the right district for her.”

After the discussion, the School Committee unanimously voted to offer the job to Vogel.

“The School Committee is thrilled that she will take the torch from Mrs. Tremblay,” Hayman stated on his Facebook page.

Hayman recalled that the school board recently conducted three virtual site visits to Vogel, Kelley and Conrad’s respective districts. He also noted the three candidates participated in virtual meet-and-greets with parents last week.