Just-hired principal declines job over qualifications
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MANCHESTER — The newly named principal of McLaughlin Middle School has decided not to accept the post because she didn’t meet the school district’s qualification requirements for the job, Superintendent Thomas Brennan confirmed Wednesday.
Lisa Witte, director of federal programs for the district, turned down the McLaughlin post after being informed that the posting for the job incorrectly listed the qualifications.
“She took the high road,” Brennan said.
The superintendent blamed the situation on a Human Resources Department posting for the job. As posted, the qualifications listed for the McLaughlin position included “10 years educational experience, with at least five years experience in a classroom at the secondary level.”
However, Brennan said, that differs from the official qualifications for a middle school principal in the Manchester school district. Middle school principals’ classroom experience must include three years of teaching at the middle school level, grades six to eight.
This contrasts with district policy for high school principals, who do not need to have taught at the high school level; five years of secondary school teaching at any grade level is sufficient. Secondary school is considered grades six to 12.
Brennan said Witte was his choice for the job, which will now be re-posted.
“She was disappointed but realized that she didn’t meet the qualifications as established by the Board of School Committee,” Brennan said. “She realized the mistake and realized it was not right to proceed.”
The salary range for the position is $94,385-$98,368, the posting said. The McLaughlin principal job became vacant when Barry Alpert retired at the end of the school year.
Witte has been director of federal programs for the school district for the past few years. Previously she served as assistant principal at Pembroke Academy.
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