Following No Confidence Vote, Superintendent Places Bradford Principal on Leave; Union Approves

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta with Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Bradford Elementary School Principal Louise Perry is out and is expected to be replaced in the interim by another administrator.

Questions about the status of Perry—the subject of a no-confidence vote on the eve of February school vacation—came when it became apparent Assistant Principal Nicole McGrain was signing all communications from the school. Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta confirmed Perry is on leave in an email to School Committee members early this afternoon.

“At this point in time, Ms. Perry is on leave and it is not anticipated that she will return to Bradford School. Ms. Cathy Giles, who has been working as an additional administrator at the school for the month of March, is expected to serve as interim principal once school resumes,” Marotta wrote.

Both Perry and McGrain were named by the Haverhill Education Association when the union said 75% of school staff voted “no confidence” in them.

Union President Anthony J. Parolisi told WHAV Tuesday he is pleased with the progress on members’ complaints—one including a charge the principal made “racist” remarks about students and faculty. Although not formally notified, school staff noticed Perry’s absence after Feb. 28. The union was not notified of Perry’s leave until Tuesday.

Parolisi said he understands McGrain, a member of an administrators’ union, has recently been receiving “mentoring and guidance.” He added, “Members report she has been improving in her relationships especially in this crisis. It makes them feel better about the prospect of her remaining.”

The superintendent said the department will be opening a search for a permanent principal and, if necessary, initial interviews will be conducted electronically.

Marotta took charge of the situation after school vacation, calling for a fresh discussion of issues with school staff and district leadership.

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