SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 1, 2013

Swampscott principal picked to lead Marblehead High

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — MARBLEHEAD — Swampscott High Principal Layne Millington may be trading blue apparel for red and black at the big Thanksgiving game this year, after Superintendent Gregory Maass offered him the Marblehead High principal’s job Wednesday.

The School Committee was scheduled to meet last night, as Maass said he needs approval to finish negotiating compensation and benefits with Millington, who has guided Swampscott High for the past three years. Millington is in the third year of his contract and makes $125,880, according to the Swampscott superintendent’s office.

Millington’s new post would begin July 1.

“I am extremely pleased at the opportunity to work alongside the MHS faculty in service to the students and community of Marblehead,” Millington said in an email. He said he was invited to attend last night’s School Committee meeting.

Maass said he made the decision between Millington and acting Marblehead High Principal Debra Heaton with the help of a 15-person screening committee and a 17-person interview committee.

Heaton had been assistant principal at Marblehead High before former Principal Ken Weinstein left last June to head a middle school in Princeton, N.J. Millington also had been a finalist for principal at Peabody High, but that job has gone to the school’s assistant principal, Eric Buckley.

Millington has received rave reviews in Swampscott, said Maass, who said that several things about Millington stood out.

“We were looking for someone with real high school experience,” said Maass, citing Millington’s seven years as an administrator, first as an assistant principal in Belmont and then as Swampscott’s principal. He also has a financial background from the days when he was in the private sector.

Maass described Millington as someone willing to listen to staff and students and to collaborate to solve problems.

“We were looking for that,” Maass said.

Marblehead High is just starting its accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, something that Swampscott High has been undergoing for the past three years. Millington also has experience with rescheduling, as he revamped the schedule for Swampscott High. He is also knowledgeable about new X2/Aspen Student Management System that Marblehead is rolling out this spring.

As a former science teacher, Maass said Millington has a strong curriculum background. Millington was the head of the science department in Georgetown.

Maass said that during his visit to Swampscott High, he met with students and staff and found that students “felt comfortable talking to him. That kind of respect with students is really important in a high school.”

This is not the first time that a Swampscott High principal has made the jump to Marblehead.

In 2010, Millington replaced former Swampscott High Principal Brian Salzer, who left to take a job as business manager in Marblehead. He has since left to become superintendent in Northampton.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.