[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Josh Perry
Hometown Weekly Staff
In early March, Needham superintendent Dr. Dan Gutekanst announced that current Newman assistant principal Greg Bayse had accepted the position of principal at Mitchell Elementary School and would take over from Mike Schwinden, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Bayse has worked in Needham for nine years, beginning as a guidance counselor at Eliot School, as residential school director at Walker, and then taking the assistant principal job at Newman in 2011. He will begin at Mitchell on July 1.
The press release from the superintendent read, “Mr. Bayse is genuinely humbled by the appointment, and he is eager to work with staff and families to nurture and build on Mitchell’s many traditions of academic growth, sense of community and caring, and deep love of learning and play.”
Bayse was one of eight candidates that were interviewed for the opening and was one of two finalists. The interview process included meetings with staff, administrators, and parents, as well as site visits to Newman.
“Students, parents, and staff were excited about his leadership potential,” read the announcement, “and they described his ability to connect with Newman’s students and their families in a way that is caring, responsive, and genuine.”
Bayse told Hometown Weekly that he is excited to be joining the Mitchell community and was instantly interested in the job when he heard that Dr. Schwinden was retiring.
“Mitchell is a well-established, successful school with a strong community and a dedicated staff in a town and district that I love and where I have deep roots,” he explained.
“I’m incredibly honored and excited to be taking on this leadership role.”
He began his career as a social worker at Walker before joining the public school system and pursuing his degree in education from Endicott College. Bayse called working in public and private education “immensely fulfilling.”
“Those of us who work in schools are given the opportunity to help parents shape children into the leaders of tomorrow,” he added. “They will have the capacity to influence the future and each of us had a hand in their development. How great is that?”
The sense of community at Mitchell was mentioned several times by Bayse, who noted that his goal for the first year will be to get to know the staff, students, and parents and to continue building on the “strong foundation” created by Schwinden during his 15 years at the school.
“As an ‘insider’ to Needham I do believe that I have an advantage as I transition into the role,” said Bayse. “However, I know that for my principalship to be successful and for Mitchell to continue in excellence it will require a great deal of time, commitment, and hard work on my part.”
He has been part of several challenging situations in his five years at Newman, including a school renovation, rehabilitation of the fields, and curriculum changes among the issues Bayse highlighted, and he believes that experience has allowed him to build much needed skills in community building and “collaborative decision-making.”
Bayse noted that he plans on speaking with Schwinden before taking over and is currently working on organizing a transition plan this spring. He added, “It’s my intention to schedule times during which the Mitchell community has an opportunity to meet me before heading off on summer vacations.”
In addition to announcing Greg Bayse as the new principal, Gutekanst also expressed his thanks to the long service of Mike Schwinden to the Mitchell community.
He wrote, “His advocacy for children, his intellect and perspective, his willingness to try new ideas and programs, and his focus on details, data, and doing the right thing are among the reasons he has been a successful, reliable, and exceptional principal, educational leader, and friend.”
Josh Perry is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.