New Special Ed Director Predicts Long Tenure in Haverhill Schools

Superintendent James F. Scully recommended Pamela MacDonald to fill the vacancy at the top of the district's Special Education Department.

Haverhill Public Schools have a new director of Special Education, and she plans to stick around for a while.

School Committee members unanimously approved Pamela MacDonald’s appointment Thursday after a public to interview watched by the candidate’s husband, parents, and a handful of Haverhill teachers and principals.

Since the retirement of longtime director Maurice Covino in 2014, Haverhill has cycled through several interim and permanent directors, most recently Kyle A. Riley. Before him, Theresa Senio served for two years and Jean Kelly for several months.

MacDonald said she has no plans to relocate any time soon.

“I like to see a project finished. There is so much potential here, I could probably see myself retiring from Haverhill.”

MacDonald’s resume shows that she has remained for at least five years in her last two assignments, in Stoneham and Revere.

Committee members praised MacDonald’s energy, compassion and intelligence.

Asked what she sees as the Special Education Department’s most pressing needs, MacDonald suggested more special-ed administrators to train and evaluate the teachers in the department. She said she would also like to see a director of autism, behavior and therapeutic services.