PEABODY — Peabody Public Schools Superintendent Cara Murtagh has narrowed down the list of candidates to be the next principal of Peabody Veterans Memorial High from four to two.

The two finalists are Matthew Poska, principal of Beverly Middle School and a former assistant principal at Beverly High, and Brooke Randall, the assistant principal of North Andover High and a former dean of students at Peabody High.

The other two finalists for the job were Nathan Lamar, the academic program coordinator at Northeast Metropolitan Technical High, and Jennifer DeStefano, the former principal of Salem High and assistant principal at Beverly High.

Murtagh said she plans to make site visits before making her decision. She said she plans to make a site visit to North Andover High on Friday and a visit to Beverly Middle School on Monday. Murtagh said she planned to name the new Peabody High principal shortly after she makes these site visits.

In all, 28 people applied for the post that became vacant with the sudden resignation of former Principal Eric Buckley after the end of the school year. The field was whittled down to 11 candidates who were interviewed, then to four, who were interviewed publicly at Peabody High by Murtagh and Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who serves as chairman of the School Committee, on Aug. 22.

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



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