By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — Beth Kitsos, associate principal at Haverhill High School since 2011, has been named the school’s new leader on an interim basis.
Kitsos replaces longtime principal Bernard Nangle, who retired last month after leading the high school since 2007. Nangle retired Dec. 20 after nearly two decades as a teacher and then administrator in Haverhill.
Superintendent James Scully said Kitsos played a primary role in changes at the high school that have led to increased MCAS scores and new academic programs for a wide range of students.
“I have full confidence in Mrs. Kitsos,” the superintendent said. “I am impressed with her work ethic and the depth of her knowledge. I also know that she and Mr. Nangle share the same philosophy when it comes to the kindness and compassion shown to our students.”
Scully said he will open a formal search and conduct interviews later this school year for the permanent principal position, which will include an annual salary between $105,000 and $110,000, he said.
“Until then, I have the utmost confidence that Mrs. Kitsos will provide exemplary leadership to her administrative team, faculty, staff and students,” Scully said.
The high school administrative team also includes assistant principals Tricia Fleming, who oversees the freshmen class; Matt Steinberg, who is in charge of grade 10; and Katrina Esparza, who oversees students in grades 11 and 12.
Scully said has not yet decided if he will replace Kitsos with a new associate high school principal or use money for that position somewhere else.
Kitsos was principal of Whittier Middle School until Scully appointed her associate principal of the high school in 2011.
In a press release, Nangle said Kitsos functioned as high his “right arm” during his time leading the high school. Nangle credited Kitsos with a number of innovations that he said have improved student achievement and high school’s reputation.
Some of those achievements, Nangle said, include an early college partnership with Northern Essex Community College; remedial reading and math courses for freshmen; the freshman academy; and increased inclusion of special education students in mainstream classes.
“She is fair, shows empathy and compassion for the students and treats the staff fairly,” Nangle said of Kitsos.