Stevens High's new principal will start July 1By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
April 17. 2014 10:22PM
CLAREMONT — Stevens High School’s new principal, Patricia Barry, says she is excited to join such a passionate school community.
“It just sounds like there are really a lot of exciting things happening right now. And they are moving in a wonderful direction, and I think it’s a wonderful time to step in and help them with all of that,” Barry said Thursday.
The Claremont School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Barry.
She is the principal of Hillsboro-Deering Middle School. She is set to start in Claremont on July 1, but said she plans to shadow current principal, Frank Sprague, as much as she can before that.
The search committee was formed last year after Sprague announced his retirement.
Barry was one of two candidates the search committee selected as finalists last week.
SAU No. 6 Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin recommended Barry to the School Board Wednesday as his and the search committee’s pick.
During the search, McGoodwin said the search committee was looking for an instructional leader who would build relations with students and would strive to have a school that would meet the needs of all the students, supporting the arts, athletics and academic segments of the school community equally.
Barry said she knew Stevens was the place for her when she had conversations with McGoodwin about the goal of offering the best education and opportunities for all students.
“Athletics is wonderful and certainly something to be celebrated, but there are equal focuses in the arts that we want to celebrate and nurture as well as in the academics and vocational paths,” Berry said.
She said the Sugar River Valley vocational school, which is part of Stevens, is a huge asset.
“I think it’s really a perfect time to see what can we really do to offer each and every student at Stevens to make their four years a real exciting time for them,” Barry said.
Barry is a former selectwoman in her hometown of Rindge. Before she went to Hillsboro-Deering, she taught English for nine years at Conant High School in Jaffrey.
“I wanted to get back into the high school realm; that really is where my passion is,” Barry said.
Hillsboro-Deering is also in its second year of transitioning to a standards-based grading system, a transition SAU No. 6 has had difficulty with this year.
Barry said she is excited to help make the transition into that new standards or “competency” based grading system smoother for students, staff and parents.
There is also a lot of optimism around the current building renovation, she said.
“They are going through a lot of changes right now, which really excited me about the position,” Barry said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of everything that’s going on there.”