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May 08. 2013 11:26PM

Familiar face picked to be Nashua middle school principal


FREDERICKSEN 
NASHUA - After the first round of interviews failed to produce any candidates for the pending principal vacancy at the Elm Street Middle School, a second round of interviews produced a candidate that was right under everyone's noses the whole time.

Mike Fredericksen, who has been an Elm Street assistant principal since 2000, will be presented to the Board of Education next week as the recommended replacement for outgoing principal Colette Valade. A Nashua native, Fredericksen's salary is being recommended at slightly more than $94,000.

"I am just so humbled by this, I have been telling my staff, and this is the pinnacle of my career. We have some challenges in terms of academic scores we need to address, but I have Elm Street in my blood," Fredericksen said.

Along with serving as the school's assistant principal, Fredericksen served as the school's interim principal for the 2007-2008 school year.

Superintendent Mark Conrad said the decision has led to a lot of positive feedback from students, parents and staff alike.

"The strongest candidate was right in front of us, and I am very pleased he is stepping up to the plate. He is well known as someone of honesty and integrity. And the funny thing is that the school's highest test scores in years happened when he was the interim principal," Conrad said.

Board member Steven Haas said Fredericksen might not have put his name in the hat for the first round of interviews because he was deferring to a perceived desire to bring someone in from outside the district. Once a qualified candidate could not be produced, Fredericksen decided to give it a go.

"And I am delighted that he did. (The School Board) is very pleased that he was Conrad's recommendation. He has definitive ideas on how he sees moving the school forward, and we look forward to his efforts," Haas said.

Conrad said Fredericksen's recommended salary is in line with a much discussed salary scale for principals and assistant principals currently being considered by the Board of Education.

He said he is recommending Fredericksen be paid like a second-year principal because he served as Elm Street's interim principal in the past.

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