Published October 30, 2019


LYNNFIELD — The search for a permanent Huckleberry Hill School principal is underway.

Superintendent Jane Tremblay recently told the School Committee that the Huckleberry Hill permanent principal job has been posted internally. Former first grade teacher Melissa Wyland has been serving as Huckleberry Hill’s interim principal this school year.

“I promised the parents and the faculty we will look for a permanent principal at Huckleberry Hill School rather quickly,” said Tremblay. “One of the things we have done traditionally is do an inside search if we know there are strong candidates.”

Tremblay discussed the Huckleberry Hill principal search with the elementary school’s faculty recently. She also sent out surveys to both parents and educators in order to learn about what qualities and skills they are looking for in a permanent principal.

“It’s very similar to the survey I sent out when we were looking for a principal for Summer Street School,” said Tremblay. “I will take all of that information and it will drive what our next steps are.”

In an interview with the Villager, Tremblay said one internal candidate applied for the permanent Huckleberry Hill principal job. She said an interview committee comprised of parents, faculty members and administrators will be interviewing the prospective candidate.

In addition to Tremblay, the interview committee consists of Summer Street School Principal Dr. Karen Dwyer, Student Services Director Roberta Keane, Finance Director Tom Geary, kindergarten teacher Jayne Swirka, fourth grade teacher Elisabeth George, art teacher Kathleen Lorenzo, special education teacher Currie Pope-Konner, Digital Learning Coach Sarah Perkins, and parents Joe Attubato, Pete Smyrnios and Sarah Haney.

Tremblay said the interview committee held a pre-planning meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29. She said the interview committee was slated to interview the internal candidate on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

If the interview committee is impressed with the applicant’s interview, Tremblay said the candidate will be invited to a meet-and-greet for parents at Huckleberry Hill’s all-purpose room on Wednesday, Nov. 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tremblay informed the Villager that if the internal candidate has a successful meet-and-greet with parents, she could name a permanent principal as soon as the week of Nov. 18.

She told the School Committee if there is an internal candidate she feels is “worthy of the position,” she will be bringing the applicant to the school board’s Nov. 19 meeting.

“If we do not have a candidate that is viable, we will have plenty of time to go out and do an external search,” said Tremblay. “If we don’t perform an external search in January, February or the beginning of March, we are missing a window. I want to make sure we have plenty of time if that is the road we go down.”

If Tremblay decides to launch an external search, she said the principal job will be posted in December.

Wyland was appointed interim principal last May in the wake of former Huckleberry Hill Principal Brian Bemiss agreeing to become Fisher Elementary School in Walpole’s next principal. Prior to being appointed interim principal, Wyland taught first grade at Huckleberry Hill for 16 years.

Bemiss led Huckleberry Hill for 10 years.