WOBURN - Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Crowley recently named veteran Woburn foreign language and ESL teacher Dr. Linda Riley as the Altavesta School’s interim principal.
During the most recent school board meeting in the Joyce Middle School, Crowley explained that Riley, who received her doctorate in education approximately two years ago, will head up the North Woburn elementary school for at least the next year.
Riley is replacing former Altavesta Principal Marisa Boyajian, a veteran classroom teacher and administrator who was hired away from the Lawrence Public School district in 2017. Boyajian is not leaving Woburn, as she was selected earlier this summer as the leading candidate for the district’s human resources director vacancy.
“Dr. Riley has been in the pubic schools for many years serving as a foreign language teacher at WMHS and at the Linscott [Elementary School] as an ESL teacher,” said Crowley. “She just earned her doctorate from UMass Lowell a couple of years ago.”
According to Crowley, he will resume the search for a full-time Altavesta School principal next spring. Fully confident in Riley’s ability to lead the diverse elementary school population, the superintendent explained that the interim principal will be eligible to apply for the full-time adminstrator’s post.
According to Riley, who has long been an adjunct professor at UMass, she for years taught aspiring superintendents and building principals who were enrolled in doctorate level courses.
As she explained to the School Committee, those interactions eventually sparked her own interest in serving as a school administrator, and she’s grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate her leadership skills at the Altavesta.
“I’m so beyond excited,” she remarked. “I’ve worked in Woburn for 15 years and in education for over 20. I’m an adjunct professor at UMass, where I found myself teacher all these doctoral courses filled with superintendents and principals. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I want to do that too!’”
“My passion is inclusivity and leading the charge in helping teachers develop lessons that are inclusive of all students,” she later said.
Riley hopes to spend much of the next year trying to promote citizen engagement and parental involvement in the school community.
She also wants to learn more about the classroom-level experience of teachers and work on forging a strong school culture.
“I want to be really visible to teachers. I want to go on a listening tour and see what the Altavesta is all about,” she said.