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By Josh Perry
Hometown Weekly Staff
In a notice to the Needham community on Monday morning, Superintendent Dr. Dan Gutekanst announced that Needham High assistant principal Aaron Sicotte had accepted the position of principal and will step into his new position beginning on July 1.
Sicotte will take over for Dr. Joseph Barnes, who was named as the school’s interim principal when Jonathan Bourn stepped down from the position in June 2015.
In his notice to parents Dr. Gutekanst wrote, “Mr. Sicotte is humbled by the appointment and excited to work with a talented staff to lead the high school community.”
“He is eager to work with students, staff, and parents to nurture a tradition of academic excellence in a school environment that values innovation, social and emotional wellness, diversity, and achievement for all learners.”
Sicotte was one of six candidates that were interviewed for the position out of an original pool of 23 applicants and was one of two finalists. The interview process included meetings with staff, teachers, students, administrators, and parents.
“Those members of the Needham Public Schools and Needham community who interacted with Mr. Sicotte,” wrote Gutekanst, “provided exceptionally consistent and strong feedback in their oral and written responses when asked about his candidacy and readiness for this important role.”
The notice complimented Sicotte for his leadership potential, his ability to connect with students and families, high expectations, and organizational ability among other aspects of his personality that led the selection committee to decide he was the right option for the principal position.
Sicotte has a B.A. in English from Union College and received an M.A. there in teaching. He received educational leadership certification from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y. and was a teacher and assistant principal at Guilderland (N.Y.) High before coming to this area.
Gutekanst continued, “Mr. Sicotte is very excited to lead Needham High School and believes he will continue to learn a great deal from Needham’s teachers, students, parents, and administrators who daily demonstrate a commitment to their learning and to one another.”
While he continues his role as assistant principal for the remainder of the school year, Sicotte will also prepare for the transition to principal and is working on a specific transition plan over the few weeks.
According to the notice, the interview team consisted of Needham High students Zerinee Depina, Sonia Raja, and Tim Andre; school staff Jill Krajewski, Patrick Gallagher, Linda Burke, Jimmy Odierna, Johnny Cole, and Tom Denton: parents Jennifer Sexton and Stu Schmill; school administrators Mary Lammi, Tamatha Bibbo, and Tom Campbell; and Needham Youth Services Director Jon Mattleman.
Josh Perry is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.