Melissa Dlugolecki has accepted the position of athletics director at Arlington High School, the public school administration announced Wednesday, June 12, and she will officially assume her responsibilities this summer.
Dlugolecki is currently both the assistant athletics director and a special-education teacher at Holliston High School, positions she has held since 2009.
The salary range for the position was described in April as $78,000 to $88,000.
AHS has had female athletics directors before. In the 1980s, Liz McDonough served in the role, said Robert Spiegel, the schools' human-resources director. Following her, Kate Cremens-Basbas served for about a year.
Dlugolecki will fill a role held by Rob DiLoreto since last August, when Edward "Ted" Dever, the former AD, was put on paid leave because of a then-unspecified investigation. Later, the probe was described as criminal, and Dever has vowed to fight his ouster.
Dlugolecki has been a standout varsity field hockey and softball coach at Holliston High School.
She has also served in educational leadership positions in Holliston, including volunteering to help develop schoolwide rubrics to measure the school’s 21st-century learning expectations, to lead a redesign of the student advisory program, and to serve on the Teacher Technology Advisory Committee.
She previously served as the residential director for the Kennedy Donovan Center, a multilocation residential home for adults with disabilities.
Dlugolecki graduated from Providence College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology. While at Providence, she was a division one scholarship athlete in field hockey and captain of the field hockey team her senior year.
She is working toward a master’s in education at Framingham State University. She is a registered athletic administrator through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
"We are very pleased to welcome Ms. Dlugolecki to Arlington," said Superintendent Kathleen Bodie. "She comes with a strong leadership track record as well as her high marks for her commitment to a high quality athletic program that supports and enhances school core values."
Dever's employment ended in March. He had been athletics director since October 2007.
Signaling the change, the School Committee approved a new job description for an athletics director Thursday, April 11, in a 6-0 vote.
Committee members made public no comment about Dever, who was placed on paid leave last August, because of an unspecified investigation.
Spiegel said April 16: "We can simply confirm that he is no longer on the payroll effective March 22, 2013.
"Otherwise, it's a personnel matter and we cannot comment."
Asked about the time frame for hiring a replacement, he wrote: "We will post the position of Athletic Director soon and hope to select one by early June."
History of the case
Dever was placed on leave last Aug. 27 after town police identified him as the target of an unspecified investigation. Rob DiLoreto, a house dean and former athletics director, was named to fill in, coaches were told Thursday, Aug. 30.
A statement from Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, released Aug. 29, referred to probes of Dever by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Arlington police "involving allegations of certain criminal conduct." The statement did not further describe the conduct.
In December, The Boston Globe reported that Dever, a Winchester resident, was fighting his dismissal in the face of a criminal probe.
Authorities have released no specifics. Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan declined to comment to a Globe reporter.
The Globe quoted Rick Grundy, Dever’s attorney, who said Arlington schools' Superintendent Kathleen Bodie had notified Dever of her intention to dismiss him though no charges have been filed.
Grundy said he and Dever met with Bodie and an attorney representing the school district Dec. 4 for a hearing about Dever’s employment and were told of several performance-related reasons behind Bodie’s intention to fire Dever.
Later that month, one possible issue emerged.
Arlington High School was required to forfeit a number of wins by some of its sports teams during the 2011-2012 school year. In all, 12 teams included ineligible players, and eight of the teams have had to forfeit winning games.
The forfeitures result from the recently discovered fact that several student athletes who competed for Arlington interscholastic teams last school year were academically ineligible to compete under Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
A news release did not mention Dever, but it said an investigation by DiLoreto led to discovery of ineligible players.
The next day, a Globe story quoted an MIAA official calling the forfeitures "unprecedented."
Dever's name remained out of the news until it was mentioned in a story about Jimmy Roche, baseball star at Arlington High School who had been hired to assist DiLoreto until Roche was called up to Mets farm team
The new job description for the director of athletics changes what had been three-fourths position to full time.
One provision calls for "familiarity with the MIAA Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics."
This story was published Wednesday, June 12, 2013.