The three finalists to fill the Watertown High School principal position will be visiting the school this week, and the public can meet them and attend the interviews.
The three finalists are Jennifer Hamilton, a dean at Cambridge Rindge & Latin; Joel Giacobozzi, assistant headmaster at Boston Latin, and Matthew Poska, principal of Beverly Middle School, said Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston. Longer bios of each candidate can be seen below.
The finalists were chosen from 16 candidates that were interviewed by the WHS Principal Screening Committee last week, Galdston said. The 17-member committee was led by Assistant Superintendent Theresa McGuinness and included parents, teachers, two School Committee members and a pair of students.
The candidates will each spend five hours at WHS “to get a sense of who we are,” and to give students, staff, administrators and parents a chance to meet them, Galdston said.
Each candidate will visit on a different day: Hamilton on Wednesday, Jan. 29; Giacobozzi on Thursday, Jan. 30; and Poska on Friday, Jan. 31. Each day, parents and community members will have a chance to sit in on as Galdston interviews the candidate. The interviews are from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“The interview is between myself and the candidate,” Galdston said. “But (attendees) can provide feedback.”
Parents and guardians of students can also meet the candidates at 1:30 p.m. or 3:45 p.m. each day.
“Please leave enough time to check in at the main office before heading to the lecture hall. All parents/guardians are members of the PTSO so everyone is welcome to the 1:30-2:00 time frame as well as the 3:45pm slot in the visit schedule,” Galdston wrote in a letter to parents. (See the full schedule of the visit below).
Galdston said she will weigh the candidates and may make site visits to the candidates’ current district. She hopes to appoint the next WHS principal before February Vacation. The last day of school before vacation is Feb. 14.
Meet the Candidates:
Ms. Hamilton has been employed by Cambridge Rindge and Latin School as the Dean of Curriculum & Program (ELA) since 2015. Prior to this role, Ms. Hamilton served as Assistant Principal of Plymouth North High School and a Special Education Department Head. Additional experiences include: teaching positions at Merrimack Middle School, Chelsea High School, and Brighton High School. Ms. Hamilton received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in History & Sociology and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Salem State College. In addition, Ms. Hamilton earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Administration from American International College.
Mr. Giacobozzi has been employed by Boston Latin School as an Assistant Headmaster since 2017. Prior to this role, Mr. Giacobozzi served as an Assistant Principal at Gates Intermediate School in Scituate, a special education and life science teacher at the Cameron Middle School in Framingham, and as a graduate student mentor at Harvard University. Mr. Giacobozzi received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Masters in Education degree from Harvard University.
Mr. Poska has been employed by the Beverly Public Schools as the Principal of Beverly Middle School since 2006. Prior to this role, Mr. Poska served as an Assistant Principal at Beverly High School for two years. Other experience includes Assistant Principal and Director of Athletics positions at Saugus High School. Mr. Poska was also employed by the Lynn Public Schools as a history teacher at Thurgood Marshall Middle School and Lynn English High School. Mr. Poska received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Secondary Education from Merrimack College and a Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration from Salem State College.
WHS Principal Finalists Visit Schedule
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lunch with Students & Tour of WHS
1:30-2 p.m. – Meet with PTO & School Site Council
2-2:30 p.m. – Meet with Admin. Council, Cabinet & Coordinators
2:30-3 p.m. – Meet with Assistant Principals, Administrative Assistant, Instructional Support Staff, Cafeteria Staff, and Custodians
3-3:15 p.m. – Break
3:15-3:45 p.m. – Meet with Faculty
3:45-4:15 p.m. – Meet with Parents/Guardians & Community Members
4:30-5:30 p.m. – Public Interview with the Superintendent