HAVERHILL — No sooner had classes ended for the summer than the city made its first key move for the next school year.
Superintendent James Scully named John Mele principal of Consentino School. He has been serving as an assistant principal there.
Mele replaces Stephen Sierpina, who left Consentino at the end of this school year to become principal of the Marsh Grammar School, a kindergarten-to-grade-eight school in Methuen. Sierpina was in his third year leading Consentino.
Consentino’s other assistant principal, Brendon Parker, said he is also leaving Consentino for an administrative job at the Marsh.
Scully said he needs to fill the two assistant principal positions at Consentino and possibly other administrative positions. He said he expects to make announcements within 10 days.
“It’s possible that two to four other assistant principal positions may become vacant,” Scully said. “Other assistant principals are interviewing elsewhere for jobs.”
Scully said one reason administrators are leaving is for higher pay in other districts, adding that principal salaries in Haverhill are about $12,000 below the regional average. He said Sierpina will receive a raise of about $20,000 from Methuen and that higher pay was a major factor in his decision to leave Haverhill.
“These are people who have had myriad experiences and had the opportunity to work in an urban district with growing ELL and special education programs,” Scully said. “The special education rate in Haverhill is one of the fastest growing rates of urban school districts in the state.”
Scully said Mele is currently paid about $72,000 per year and that the job at Consentino pays between $90,000 and $95,000.
He said Mele’s contract is still being negotiated.
In announcing Mele’s appointment, Scully said Mele’s experience and long tenure in an urban school setting working with a diverse student population made him a logical successor to Stephen Sierpina.