Dear Chenery Parents/Guardians,
We write to inform the Chenery Upper Elementary School community about an important hiring decision made this week.
As you know from our last communication on 8/1/2023, we have been working diligently in our search for an interim Chenery Principal for the 2023-2024 school year since Ms. Foundas' announcement in June. At the time of our last communication, we were in the very final stages of contracting with an experienced Principal, following several weeks of interviews, reference checks, and communication with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
We are happy to announce that Ms. Barbara O'Brien has been offered the position of Interim Chenery Upper Elementary School Principal, starting on August 7, 2023. Her contract will be for one year, through June 30, 2024. Ms. O'Brien is the former Principal of the Albert F. Argenziano School in the Somerville Public Schools. Most recently, she served as the Interim Principal of the Beebe School in Malden, Massachusetts, so she knows the uniqueness of an "interim" role quite well. She has experience as a Principal Mentor, so she is a great choice to head the new Chenery leadership team. She is ready for this challenge and thrilled to be a part of the Belmont community, where some of her relatives also reside.
Her career in public education spans several decades as an esteemed member of the Somerville Public Schools -- in the Argenziano School, East Somerville and Winter Hill Community Schools, and Kennedy School -- where she served roles including classroom teacher (Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8), counselor, site coordinator/director, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Her deep knowledge of public education and her breadth of experience will serve her well in this unique, one-year role. She brings a BS in Elementary Education, as well as a M.Ed. (with a concentration in Special Education), plus additional graduate coursework in Assistive Technology. She cites among her areas of expertise site-based leadership, balanced literacy, and educator evaluation. We are thrilled to have her take this role on.
We promised from the outset that we would bring on a certified, qualified, and capable leader at the helm of the Chenery Upper Elementary School for the 2023-2024 school year. We believe that we have done just that in hiring Ms. O'Brien. Belmont is fortunate to have found such a capable and qualified professional to take this important position on. We hope you join us in welcoming her to the Belmont Public Schools family.
Next year, we will again run a complete search for a permanent Principal who will begin July 1, 2024.
Michael E. McAllister