SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 24, 2013

3 finalists chosen for Peabody principal

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — Two local names are among the three finalists for Peabody High School principal.

Included is the school’s current assistant principal, Eric Buckley, a 22-year veteran of the Peabody schools, and sitting Swampscott High Principal Layne Millington. John Dillon, the third finalist, is an assistant principal at Minuteman High School in Lexington.

The new principal will be named by Superintendent Joe Mastrocola, who praised the work of the screening committee in choosing from among 13 applicants.

“I’m really grateful to those 12 individuals,” he said of the committee, noting they had chosen “three excellent candidates.”

Mastrocola will hold public interviews at Kiley School with each of the candidates. Buckley is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28; Dillon for Tuesday, Jan. 29; and Millington for Wednesday, Jan. 30. In each case, a 3:30 p.m. “meet and greet” with the public will be followed by a more formal interview at 4:15 p.m.

“I’m pleased with the pace of the selection process,” said School Committee member Beverley Ann Griffin Dunne, “and with the three solid candidates brought forth.” She expressed particular satisfaction that Buckley, a Peabody native, was on the list.

Buckley began his career in Peabody as a substitute teacher at Peabody High School in 1991. He later won a full-time position teaching history at Higgins Middle School in 1995, then moved back to the high school the following year. By 2005, he was the social studies department chairman, and in 2007, he became an assistant principal.

A graduate of Bishop Fenwick High School, Buckley received his undergraduate degree in history at Assumption College in Worcester. He has two master’s degrees in education, from Salem State and American College of Education in Chicago.

Millington has served as Swampscott High School principal since 2010. Before that, starting in 2006, he was an assistant principal at Belmont High School. He has also taught at high schools in Springfield, Wakefield and Georgetown.

Atypically, he interrupted his work in education to take a job as a financial manager at Mellon Financial from 2000 to 2003. His decision in Swampscott to launch a campaign against drug abuse in 2011 led to some outspoken opposition after he made a meeting with parents mandatory.

Millington has a bachelor’s degree from Castleton College in Vermont and advanced degrees from Castleton and Salem State.

Dillon was a substitute teacher in Woburn in 1990 before accepting a job designing a program for second-offense drunken drivers in Middlesex County in 1992. He was a teacher and assistant principal at Burlington High School and an assistant principal in Maynard before moving to Lexington’s Minuteman High School in 2005.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State College and a master’s from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.

The new principal will replace Ed Sapienza, who is retiring.