New principal in Woburn: Winchester's Michelle Zottoli - Daily Times Chronicle: Winchester

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New principal in Woburn: Winchester's Michelle Zottoli

- Wyman School, Main Street

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Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 12:00 am

WOBURN - A former Lexington administrator with a wealth of classroom teaching experience will serve as the Wyman Elementary School’s newest leader next year.

The Wyman School is located on Main Street, north of central square (near Showcase Cinemas).

During a School Committee meeting this week, Superintendent Mark Donovan announced that Winchester resident Michelle Zottoli was selected by a search committee to replace current Wyman Principal Paul McQuilken.

McQuilken, a veteran Woburn administrator who will retire at the end of this year, has led the Wyman School community since the fall of 2000.

According to the superintendent, a search committee filtered through the initial batch of applications for the vacancy and selected a dozen semi-finalists for interviews.

“We started the search two months ago,” Donovan explained. “We did some paper screenings to get the [applications] down to a manageable number.”

The group then conducted site visits at each of those candidates respective work places and voted overwhelmingly in favor of hiring Zottoli, who started her career as a second grade teacher in North Sacramento, Calif.

The search group included Donovan, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Gary Reese, Altavesta Principal Wendy Sprague, School Committee member Dr. John Wells, and a local Hurld School parent.

Zottoli does have administrative experience, serving as an assistant principal in Lexington’s Estabrook Elementary School for six years between 2003 and 2009.

She also worked in a Lowell Charter School for three years as a Title 1 Director.

Certified by the state to work as a principal, the Winchester resident received her Master’s degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University and later received a certificate in advanced study (CAGS) from UMass Lowell for administration, planning, and policy.

She also anticipates that she’ll earn her second GAGS in Reading from the Mass. Institute of Health Professionals this coming winter.

The new Wyman principal’s resume also boasts a wealth of classroom experience, with her teaching at five different elementary school levels for over a decade.

“I have taught second grade, third grade, fifth grade, and reading. I also taught math part-time,” Zottoli told the School Committee. “I come with a wealth of experience.”

“I taught in California with inner-city students and I also taught in Lowell [before moving to Lexington]. So I’ve taught very diverse student populations,” she added.

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