Search for successor begins

Published in the March 23, 2016 edition




LYNNFIELD — Middle School Assistant Principal Richele Shankland was named as the next principal of Parker Middle School in Reading last week.

Shankland will become Parker Middle School’s principal on July 1, officially ending her 16-year tenure at Lynnfield Middle School. She has served as the middle school’s assistant principal since July 2012, when she succeeded former Middle School Assistant Principal Adam Federico.

“I feel privileged to be given such an outstanding opportunity,” said Shankland. “I am looking forward to fostering a positive teaching and learning experience at Parker and helping the students further develop the school’s core values of kindness, community and personal best.”

Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay said Shankland will be missed by students, faculty members and school officials, but she congratulated the outgoing LMS assistant principal for being named Parker Middle School’s next principal.

“Ricki has been an extraordinary educator for the Lynnfield Public Schools,” said Tremblay. “She has served students, faculty and parents well during her tenure here. She is more than ready to lead her own building and it’s a phenomenal opportunity for her. As much as we will miss her presence in Lynnfield, we are all excited for her as she continues her journey as an educator.”

In a news release, Reading school officials said Shankland stood out from the other finalists.

“(Shankland’s) leadership style, strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of curriculum and instruction will be an excellent match for the Parker Middle School community,” read the news release. “Ms. Shankland will begin as Parker Principal on July 1 and will begin to work with the current Parker administration in transition activities.”

In addition to serving as LMS’ assistant principal for the past four years, Shankland worked as a math teacher and math department head at LMS. She has a bachelor of arts in secondary education from Arizona State University, a master of liberal arts from State University of New York and a master of education from Salem State College.

While Shankland said she is looking forward to leading Parker Middle School next year, she said she is going to miss LMS immensely.

“I am emotional about leaving a place that has been like home to me for the past 16 years,” said Shankland. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with such dedicated teachers and staff, amazing children, supportive parents and School Committee and an incredible leadership team. Many people from each of these groups have helped me improve and develop my practice over the years.”

When asked what Shankland enjoyed most about her time at LMS, she said the “staff genuinely cares for the whole child” and she enjoyed “working with such wonderful people,” particularly students, staff, parents and administrators.

“I’ve been afforded many opportunities to develop both as an educator and a leader,” said Shankland. “For all of this, I will forever be grateful and LMS will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Tremblay said the middle school’s assistant principal position has been posted. She said Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston has formed a search committee to evaluate prospective candidates. The finalists will be meeting with Tremblay in addition to Ralston.

“We hope to have the search wrapped up by mid-spring,” said Tremblay.

According to the middle school assistant principal job posting on School Spring, the middle school is “seeking an experienced educational leader who possesses strong communication skills and initiative.”

The qualifications the middle school is seeking in Shankland’s successor are a master’s degree and a minimum of five years middle school teaching experience. The middle school is also looking for the next assistant principal to be certified as a school administrator and experience is preferred. The job posting also stipulates the next assistant principal should be experienced in mentoring and supervising teachers; has knowledge and understanding of middle school philosophy; and is skilled in instructional and administrative technologies.

The next LMS assistant principal will also be required to have “outstanding organizational skills” and “possess a genuine desire to work with young adolescents.”

Shankland said she will be helping the next LMS assistant principal make the transition into the job.