It's official: Windham High has a new principal, again

Robert Dawson

WINDHAM — Windham High's principal turnover problems are over, the school's newest principal said. 

The School Board approved Bob Dawson, the school's assistant principal, for the top job during its meeting Tuesday. He was approved 4-0. 

Dawson will be the fifth principal at the school, which is in its sixth year. That includes interim principal Kori Becht, who is the district's director of curriculum.

But Dawson said he has no intention of leaving anytime soon. 

"My goal is to be here for a decade or more," he said. "and to be a person they can count on over time."

Dawson, 52, has served as the assistant principal at the high school since 2011. 

He previously served as an assistant principal in the Timberlane Regional School District and as director of adult and continuing education programs. Dawson signed a one-year contract. 

Superintendent Winfried Feneberg could not be reached for comment Wednesday. He previously said the principal's salary would range between $100,000 and $120,000. 

Dawson said he's humbled, excited and slightly scared, "because there are huge responsibilities that come with the position."

He's also committed to doing a good job.

"It's really the culmination of something I've been dreaming about a long time to have the opportunity and challenge to lead a school," Dawson said. 

Feneberg chose Dawson as his candidate to fill the position. He was chosen over the other finalist, Bethany Bernasconi, the district's director of science. 

The previous principal, Ryan Kaplan, has accepted an administrative position at the American International School in Milan. 

"I'd like to congratulate him and in my eyes, hopefully, it will build stability with someone in the district that has been here for quite some time," School Board member Dennis Senibaldi said.

Dawson said there's no other job he would rather have.

"I look at this not as the job in education, but I really have no aspirations to go anywhere else or anything else in the Windham community," Dawson said. "The energy I draw from the students is not something I can draw myself out from." 

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