DERRY — When middle school assistant principals Joe Crawford and Justin Krieger agreed to become the co-directors of the new Next Charter High School, it left some sizable shoes for the district's administration to fill.
Recently, the School Board approved the appointment of new assistant principals to take over at West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood middle schools.
Melissa Lance was named assistant principal at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School. She currently teaches in Franklin, and before that was a math teacher for 16 years in a town outside Philadelphia.
"I'm excited about the team environment I've seen in the building every time I've visited," said Lance. "The staff works cooperatively, and the administration is approachable. It seems like an overall great community."
Lance is married and has two sons who will be attending the Derry schools.
"She's a bright lady," said Hood Principal Austin Garofalo. "We love that she's coming with a math background. That's an area we are working on."
Garofalo said the middle school's administrative team is heading to a state principals' conference in Jefferson at the end of June.
"That's where we will begin planning for next year," he said. "We're really looking forward to it."
There will be a familiar face as the new assistant principal at West Running Brook Middle School.
Bill Fox is a longtime Derry resident who went through the Derry school system.
Most recently, he has been the English department head at Manchester Memorial High School and came highly regarded with great references, according to Derry Superintendent Laura Nelson.
"I love it when we hire people who have gone through our school district," said School Board Chairman Brenda Willis. "Mr. Fox was one of our students, and it is great to have him come back and be a professional here."