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Johnston lands job as permanent superintendent

Date: 10/21/2010

Oct. 20, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD -- The School Committee voted unanimously Oct. 12 to name Interim Superintendent Dr. Russell Johnston to the permanent post.

Johnston had taken over the department in July in the absence of Dr. Suzanne Marotta, whose last day was June 30.

Johnston said he was delighted by the committee's vote and for the support he received from the community and department's faculty and staff. He added that he's eager to continue his multi-faceted work, which includes reducing the dropout rate, building a new high school and improving the district's quality education model.

The committee voted unanimously at its previous meeting on Sept. 28 to suspend the search for a new superintendent in light of Johnston's stellar recommendation by Patricia Correira, field director, Massachusetts Association of School Committees. Correira based her recommendation on various interviews, online surveys and questionnaires circulated throughout the district.

"I know we have a great individual to do a great job. He's done a marvelous job [since] he took over the job in July," Mayor Edward Gibson, chair of the School Committee, said. "He's tackled many issues head-on and it was clear from the focus groups and the online survey that the people who work in the School Department really wanted him to be the superintendent.

"I have all the faith in the world that we have a fantastic individual that will lead the district forward and make West Springfield one of the best districts in Massachusetts to receive and education," Gibson continued.

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