EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 17, 2013

Windham High has a new principal

WINDHAM — Windham High’s next principal brings character, a strong work ethic and good rapport with students to the job, education officials who have worked with him said yesterday.

The School Board, in a 5-0 decision Wednesday night, agreed to give the job to Ryan Kaplan, assistant principal at Spaulding High in Rochester.

Officials are finalizing a contract. Kaplan, 33, is expected to be formally introduced to the community by the School Board next week.

Students should expect a seamless transition in the administration and a new principal who will be engaging them, Kaplan said.

“Their learning is of primary importance,” he said.

Kaplan said there is wonderful energy and a lot happening at Windham High. He said he expects his first year will be one getting to know students and staff, seeking a lot of feedback and sorting through what fits with the community’s vision for the school.

“I’m hoping to really get to know the needs and wants of the school,” he said.

While he enjoys the challenges of administration, he said his heart is in the classroom.

“I will find ways to be in the classroom,” he said.

A field of more than 25 candidates competed to succeed Tom Murphy, New Hampshire’s principal of the year, who is departing to head his alma mater, Billerica Memorial High School.

Murphy, retiring Superintendent Henry LaBranche and incoming Superintendent Winfried Feneberg vetted the candidates. LaBranche recommended the board hire Kaplan.

Kaplan has served as assistant principal at Spaulding since 2009 and wanted to become a school administrator when he worked as a social studies teacher at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, Headmaster David Smith recalled.

“I’m very excited for him,” Smith said, upon learning of the School Board’s decision. “Ryan was a very enthusiastic, well prepared social studies teacher for us.”

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