Update: Superintendent of Schools Joanne Benton said it is too soon to comment on where the district goes from here in a search for Tracy's replacement, but said she wishes him luck in his new role.
"I wish Mr. Tracy good luck. It is a great career move for him. I believe that Hamilton Wenham will be a good challenge for him as he takes on a regional school district for his next principalship," said Benton. "Mr. Tracy has done many wonderful things for the students, staff and parents in Wilmington and for that I am grateful."
Original Story: Wilmington High School will be in the market for a new principal in the upcoming months.
Dr. Michael Harvey, Hamilton-Wenham schools superintendent, announced Monday afternoon that current WHS principal Eric Tracy will become the school’s permanent principal starting July 1.
“I believe Eric Tracy has the right combination of attributes necessary for leading HWRHS to new heights of excellence,” Harvey said in his announcement sent using the Connect-CTY system.
Additionally, Tracy “will bring to HWRHS a vision for developing the programs at the school necessary to prepare our students to be successful in the 21st Century,” Harvey said.
Tracy was one of two finalists for the position – the other finalist was Kristen Vogel, an assistant principal at Bedford High School. There were 37 applications submitted by the Dec. 17 deadline. From there, the field was narrowed to 10 and they were interview by a selection committee, which helped name the finalists. The final decision rests with Harvey.
"It is an exciting and unique opportunity for me. I am impressed by the rigorous academic and social expectations and standards set forth at HWRHS as well as the school’s motto to instill a passion for learning among all stakeholders," said Tracy in a statement. "During my time in Wilmington, I have developed important skills and undoubtedly learned important lessons of what it means to be an effective school administrator. The top notch students and teachers and the support of the parents and the community played an instrumental role during my tenure."
The two finalists came to Hamilton-Wenham for a full day of visits with teachers, staff, students and an evening session with parents and community members who all provided Harvey with feedback on the two candidates.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the members of the Hamilton-Wenham community who took the time to participate in this process and share their views on the candidates,” Harvey said in his announcement. “The feedback supplied by faculty, students, parents and members of the community was invaluable in helping me identify the best candidate to be our next high school principal.”
Tracy will takeover for John Hughes, the former Natick High School principal who has been the interim principal at the Regional for the past two years. Hughes was hired on an interim basis after a past search for a permanent principal ended without selecting a candidate. Then-Interim Superintendent Peter Gray wanted to let the district’s new, permanent superintendent to make the pick, he said.
It was not immediately known how much Tracy would be paid.
“Through his nine years leading Wilmington High School, Eric has demonstrated that he has a firm command over curriculum and program development, is an expert in technology integration, and is a skilled communicator,” Harvey said.
Harvey said that on a visit to Wilmington High School, the visiting team members “were also impressed by the pride the faculty, parents and students described feeling for their school and the admiration they expressed for their principal."
Though Tracy said he will be leaving in a few months, he added that he will remain dedicated to Wilmington students and faculty.
"For now, I intend to perform my duties as principal of Wilmington High School until the end of my contract," said Tracy. "There is much work to be done at WHS - the anticipation and excitement generated by the new building project and related committees, the development of curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core, and the full integration of technology so that our staff and students can truly experience a 21st century education."