BELMONT – Sheila Arnold has been admiring New Hampshire from a distance while working at schools in Mashpee, Mass.
Now, she will be getting her wish to live and work in the Granite State as the new principal of Belmont Elementary School.
“I used to drive around New Hampshire and think, 'It would be nice to live here,' and now I will get to live and work there. It's wonderful,” she said.
The school system was also a big draw, she said.
“The Belmont area is so welcoming,” said Arnold, who is 53. “I kept thinking as I was interviewing, 'I really want to be in this place.'”
Arnold starts the job July 1. She has a one-year contract with a salary of $84,000.
Superintendent Maria Dreyer said Arnold was chosen from a list of several candidates because she interviewed well and made it clear she wanted the job, and because she is so qualified.
Arnold is now the principal of Mashpee Middle School. She also served as principal at an elementary school in New Bedford, Mass., and has been a teacher at the elementary school level.
She's been an educator for 20 years, and she loves working with elementary students.
“They are always a special group,” she said.
Dreyer said the committee searching for a new principal had 36 candidates at first. They narrowed it down to two candidates, and Arnold was chosen.
“She's a very good match for us,” Dreyer said. “It was obvious to us that Sheila would be a great addition; she brings a lot to us.”
“She brings energy, dedication and an exceptional knowledge of curriculum and instruction. She is a collaborative leader who is admired for her ability to engage students, staff, parents and the community. Her work ethic and enthusiasm for both student academic and social emotional development will contribute to our mission of continuous success and improvement at Belmont Elementary School.”