Maureen Lynch was appointed as the new superintendent of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School by a unanimous vote of the Whittier School Committee Wednesday night.
She will become the school’s fifth superintendent in its 41-year history.
“I’m really honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead this amazing school,” said Lynch. “I plan to continue to focus on student achievement which has made Whittier Tech the school it is. Bill has moved us forward during some difficult economic times and challenges by the state, and he has also laid the groundwork for the important growth that lies ahead.”
Lynch succeeds Superintendent William DeRosa, who retires August 11 after a 34-year career in education, including eight years as Whittier’s superintendent.
“There is absolutely no question that under Ms. Lynch’s direction, Whittier will continue to thrive and move forward in a positive direction to serve the students in our district who seek a technical education,” DeRosa said.
Haverhill School Committeeman Scott Wood, a member of the Whittier school committee, has been critical of the process. Last Thursday, he told Haverhill School Committee members he preferred an outside search. Instead, an in-house search included three candidates, said School Committee member Joanne Testaverde.
Committee Member Johanna True, whose two sons are sophomores at Whittier, said at first she struggled with whether to conduct an outside search for a new superintendent. In the end, her decision also landed on Lynch’s commitment to the school, she said.
“In Newbury, we had 10 principals in 15 years and unfortunately that is not unusual,” she said. “I really value that five-year commitment she made as the principal. During that time, she clearly demonstrated that she is an effective leader,” True said.
Committee members referred to her as a “visible leader” who attends sports games and awards ceremonies and is highly involved with both students and their parents. “We have a Boosters Club that was going to be defunct but Maureen got involved and now it’s flourishing,” member Alana Gilbert said.
She was first hired at Whittier in 2006 as the director of guidance and admissions and was appointed principal in 2009. In that role, she assisted in designing and implementing the school budget, participated in the Building Grounds Subcommittee which resulted in the completion of the Whittier Waste Treatment Plant, worked collaboratively with administrators, department heads and teachers to develop academic and career vocational programs, supervised and evaluated the standardized testing program, developed and implemented a mandated educator evaluation system, facilitated the implementation of the school’s improvement plan, promoted a school climate that fosters high student/faculty expectations, supervised the daily use of facilities in academic and vocational areas, participated in community based activities that promote the school and the students.
Lynch began her career in education in 1994 as a high school guidance counselor in Hawaii. She worked as a guidance counselor at Landmark School, Prides Crossing from 1996-97, at Pembroke Academy from 1997 to 1999, at Westborough High School from 1999-2000 and Wilmington High School from 2001 to 2006. She received a certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from Fitchburg State College, a masters in Education in School Counseling from Salem State University and a bachelor’s in Social Work/Criminal Justice from Westfield State College.
Whittier educates 1,300 students from 11 cities and towns. Lynch will oversee the school’s $21 million budget, 123 teachers and about 30 staff. Her salary will be negotiated by the school committee.