PEABODY — The Burke School will have a new principal this fall, and she might even clog things up a bit.
Lacey Becotte, an assistant principal in Brookline and former Beverly teacher, was named principal of the K-5 school effective Aug. 1. Not only is she praised as a top-notch educator by school officials, but she took second place in a national clog dancing contest, makes a mean barbecue to feed the hungry in Boston and enjoys muay thai kickboxing in her spare time.
Becotte, 33, replaces Judy McNiff, who has been the Burke principal for six years. Earlier this year, Superintendent of Schools Joe Mastrocola chose not to renew McNiff’s contract, although he expected she would remain in the district. Mastrocola announced the new hire in a brief statement Wednesday.
“[Becotte’s] student-centered approach and collaboration with parents and staff make her well suited to lead the Burke School. Her organization and leadership skills coupled with her focus on teaching and learning make her perfect for leading the [school],” wrote Mastrocola. He was away at a conference and unavailable for further comment.
“I’m excited. I think I’m skilled to hit the ground running,” Becotte said, adding that she’s already pretty familiar with West Peabody. After she graduated from Saint Michael’s College, she moved to Hamilton Road in Peabody in 2002, just a few streets over from Burke. “It was my first home away from home.” She lived there for five years.
Becotte now lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two stepchildren.
As for the clogging, Becotte started many years ago as a 4-H club member growing up in Vermont. She and her club mates kept at it, despite dispersing across the country, and they decided several years ago to put together a routine for official competition. They chose the name All Day I Dream About Clogging, or ADIDAC, and won the Northeast title three years in a row, including second place at the Clogs for America National Competition in Tennessee in 2011.