Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon this week named Dr. Rebecca Long – a veteran public school principal with experience in Scituate and Weymouth – to preside over efforts to improve academic achievement at the Belmonte STEAM Academy. “I believe Dr. Long is the best fit for the Belmonte STEAM Academy and will play a key role in helping us raise the academic bar in Saugus,” McMahon said in a statement on the School Department’s website announcing Long’s hiring.
“She not only has an extensive background in teaching and administrative roles but she also has a strong vision for communicating and is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all at the Belmonte,” the superintendent said.
Dr. Long, who is currently the principal of the Jenkins Elementary School in Scituate, a position she has held for nearly four years, will begin her new job on July 1, pending successful contract negotiations.
She will replace Tracey Ragucci, who will be returning to the classroom for the 2022-23 school year. “We are thrilled she is remaining a part of the SPS community,” the superintendent said of Mrs. Ragucci’s plans in the school district.
“Thank you to Mrs. Ragucci for her dedication to our students and steady leadership,” McMahon said.
“It has been a challenging year working through the pandemic and overseeing the creation of the new STEAM academy for our upper elementary school students,” she said.
“Meet & Greet” next month
The superintendent says she plans to invite parents to a “Meet & Greet” with the new principal in the week of June 13. “I’m excited for this next chapter and am eager to welcome Dr. Long to the Belmonte community,” McMahon said.
Dr. Long worked five years as the Primary School Principal in Weymouth Public Schools before she accepted a job at the Town of Scituate School Department. She worked for more than nine years as a fifth grade teacher in the Town of Hanover. She also worked as a third grade teacher in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Long has a doctorate in education from Northeastern University, a certificate of advanced graduate studies from American International College, a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree from Catawba College.
“I selected Dr. Long after an extensive search process that included input from parents, teachers, staff and district administrators,” McMahon said.
“We sent out surveys to all stakeholders, created a broad-based interview committee, held site visits for each candidate, and invited the community to a public forum to hear directly from each candidate,” she said.
“I’d also like to thank all the candidates who expressed interest in this position, including the other two finalists, Purnima DeMorais and Maureen Lueke. Both candidates contributed their expertise to the process and for this, we appreciate their investment of time and energy,” she said.
A Saugus educator was a finalist
Dr. Long and the other two finalists were introduced to the Belmonte School community last week during a “Meet the Finalists” forum. Here are their backgrounds, as posted on the School Department website:
Maureen Lueke: She is currently an assistant principal at Saugus Middle High School. Previously, she served as principal of the Oaklandvale School in Saugus, assistant principal and guidance counselor at the Belmonte Middle School, elementary school guidance counselor at the Middleton Public Schools, middle school guidance counselor at the Masconomet Public Schools and high school guidance counselor at Pinkerton Academy, as well as holding guidance roles at Milford Family Guidance Center, Triton Regional Public Schools and Presentation of Mary Academy. Lueke has a certificate of advanced graduate studies from Cambridge College, a master’s degree from Salem State College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Rivier College.
Purnima DeMorais: She is currently the principal of the North Street Elementary School in Tewksbury. Previously, she served as the principal of the Harmony Grove Elementary School in Framingham, interim principal of the Arthur D. Healey K-8 School in Somerville and assistant principal at Norwood High School, Maynard High School and Newton South High School. Prior to her leadership positions, DeMorais chaired the science department at Brighton High School and taught both biology and physics at Brookline High School. DeMorais has a master’s degree from Harvard University and a dual bachelors’ degree from Boston University. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.