An elementary school principal from Mattapoisett has been named assistant superintendent for the Vineyard public schools, superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss has announced. Matthew D’Andrea, currently principal of Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett, accepted a 22-month appointment Monday as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Mr. D’Andrea toured Island schools last Friday.
“I am very excited about the opportunity,” Mr. D’Andrea told the Gazette by telephone Tuesday morning. “They are great schools and I am looking forward to being out there.”
He will replace Laurie Halt, who resigned the post in July.
Mr. D’Andrea, who is 49, has a doctorate in policy and law from Northeastern University with a focus on education law, and holds a state license as a schools business administrator, an assistant superintendent, principal and a teacher. He has been principal of the Old Hammondtown School for five years. He said that school, like Vineyard schools, benefits from strong community support, good resources and talented educators.
Prior to that, he was assistant principal of the Sippican School in Marion for two years. This breadth of experience “shows that he has really sought to broaden his understanding of schools,” Mr. Weiss said last Thursday. He described Mr. D’Andrea as “extremely personable.”
During his visit, Mr. D’Andrea met with administrators, teachers and union representatives. He said he was impressed by the enrichment opportunities provided to students above and beyond the academic curriculum.
“They look at the whole child, which I think is tremendously important,” he said.
Mr. D’Andrea plans to move to the Island with his family in the next two months. His salary is still under negotiation with the school district. He plans to start in early November.
The school district is also poised to declare a finalist for the position of director of support services. The position was vacated by Donna Lowell-Bettencourt, who has been named West Tisbury School principal. The search committee interviewed three candidates last week, including two Island candidates. An off-Island candidate has been invited for a second interview on Sept. 4.
In the interim, Ralph Friedman and Ed Orsenstein, retired special education administrators, will direct support services for the first two months of school.
The first day of school is Sept. 9.