ABOUT TOWN: West School Principal Announces Departure
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WEST SCHOOL PRINCIPAL LEAVES: Brendan Dearborn, principal of the West Elementary School, notified parents on Friday that he was taking a position in another district.
Dearborn, who became principal at the West in July of 2008, followed the previous principal, Debbie Levitz. He had been an assistant principal and a teacher at the school for three years prior to his appointment.
Dearborn wrote parents: "I hope everyone is having a great summer! I write this email with very mixed emotions. I have recently accepted a Principalship in another school district. I have loved my time at the West School both as a teacher and as the principal. I have met so many wonderful families and children here over the last seven years that I will never forget. I wish all of you the best in the future and will miss the West."
Dearborn had run into a buzzsaw at the school, with concerned parents requesting a meeting to discuss problems at the school including issues with student safety, academic performance and communciation.
But in a letter dated July 10, School Committee Chair Deborah Sovinee had denied the request for the group of parents to come before the school committee, and instead had suggested they meet privately with her and Vice Chair Joyce Husseini to discuss the situation, along with school administration.
"Resolution on issues that one really wants to resolve is best done through discussion and listening rather than in front of a camera. There are also potenital legal issues to be avoided, on advice of our counsel," the letter states.
A survey revealed that the faculty at the West didn't have an effective process for making group decisions to solve problems.
Sovinee told About Town that Dearborn "is a gifted educator who will be missed."
After seven years at the West, Dearborn will now be working in Walpole.
"He is a truly caring and creative principal and I envy his new school," Sovinee said. "An example of his innovation is the Multiple Intelligence Camp which is so popular at the West School - over 160 children are enrolled there now, supplementing their school curricula by learning and being exposed to everything from art to science, as well as receiving a free lunch! I wish Mr. Dearborn all the best."