By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone will visit Atkinson School tomorrow.
No special event prompted the visit, according to both Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson and School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert.
“He likes to visit as many schools as he can,” Hutchinson said.
Limpert said Malone, who has served as the state’s top education leader since January 2013, “tries to get to every school district” in the course of the year.
Malone, who was superintendent in Brockton before Gov. Deval Patrick appointed him to his current post, is not your typical high-level educator. By his own admission, he barely made it through high school and dropped out of Suffolk University.
He returned to Suffolk, however, graduated, then went on to earn a PhD at Boston College. Malone credits Suffolk with not giving up on him.
Malone began his career as both a paraprofessional and long-term substitute teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Boston. He later taught social studies at Jeremiah Burke High School, also in Boston, held a high-level position in the San Diego school system and was superintendent in Swampscott before Brockton hired him.
Malone is a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, having served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“He’s quite a guy,” Hutchinson said.
Atkinson is a Level 2 school based on test results. Principal Greg Landry and the teachers he supervises are “absolutely” working hard to achieve Level 1 status, the superintendent said.