READING – Birch Meadow Elementary School Principal Julia Hendrix has become the latest top level educator to be leaving the Reading Schools. Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty informed the School Committee last night (April 1st) Hendrix submitted her resignation last week and will be leaving following the current school year but would be available to aid in the transition for the new principal during the summer.

Dr. Doherty praised and thanked Hendrix for her tremendous work during her five years in Reading adding that she was a leader in the equity and social justice movement in the local schools and her leadership in a number of areas ”will be sorely missed”. He also thanked her for her dedication to the children of Reading and wished her success in her future endeavors.

This vacancy will be posted on a wide diversity of job sites with the deadline for applications April 30. The finalists will go through a public interview process with staff and community and the position is scheduled to be filled during the week of May 17, according to the timeline approved by the School Committee.

The search committee will be facilitated by Human resources Director Kerry Meisinger and will include Barrows Principal Beth Leavitt, Special Ed. Director Allison Wright, a team chair, school secretary, three teachers and three parents. The incoming school superintendent will be consulted throughout the process and will be involved with the final decision by Dr. Doherty.

Other top level vacancies existing currently include the Assistant School Superintendent, the Parker Middle School Assistant Principal, and METCO Director.

Three finalists for the position of Reading Memorial High School Principal have been chosen from thirty applicants. The finalists are Stephen Sierpina, Principal, Windham High School, Windham, N.H.; Kevin Tracey, Principal, John Glenn Middle School, Bedford, and Sara Yuen, High School Principal, Phoenix Charter Academy, Boston.

There will be a virtual community open microphone session for the RMHS finalists on Monday, April 5th, at 6:00 p.m., 6:35 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. on Zoom. Links will be announced this week for the community sessions.

Last Day of School June 21

At the recommendation of School Superintendent John Doherty, the School Committee voted unanimously to approve Monday June 21, as the last day of school. There will be 11a.m. dismissal on that day.

Schools across the state were slow to start this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) ruled last fall the minimum number of school days in the current school year would be 170 days, a decrease of 10 days from the regular required 180 days.

According to Dr. Doherty two snow days were used this year and there were no additional available days in the school schedule which would have allowed the school year to end on Friday June 18th and meet the 170 day requirement.

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