Kristin DeFrancisco, a fifth-grade teacher at Hardy, has accepted the position of principal of that school, the Arlington public schools' administration said Tuesday, May 7. She will officially assume her responsibilities July 1.
DeFrancisco has worked in the town's public schools since 1997, where she first taught grade six at the Dallin Elementary and Ottoson Middle schools.
From 2008 to 2012, she was a third grade teacher at Hardy.
Former Ottoson Principal Stavroula Bouris has lost her long-running arbitration case involving her dismissal in 2007.
In a 43-page decision issued Tuesday, March 27, arbitrator Tammy Brynie concluded: "Several of the grounds cited in support of Bouris' discharge were not persuasively demonstrated at arbitration. The Bouris/Coughlin e-mail exchanges, however, document Bouris' on-going participation in inappropriate correspondence with a subordinate.
"The unchecked content of the e-mail messages, and the fact that Coughlin was never admonished or otherwise disciplined for his alteration of [Superintendent Nate] Levenson's May 22 e-mail, reflect a lack of judgment and a failure of supervision.
"Irrespective of Levenson's asserted animus or retaliatory intent, I conclude there was sound and reasonable basis for Arlington School's decision to dismiss Bouris. Objectively viewed, Bouris' e-mail actions, and inaction, provide sufficient basis, under the statutory good cause standard, to terminate her employment."
Bouris, whose dismissal was announced the same month as Ottoson technology teacher Charles E. Coughlin Jr., following an investigation of email exchanges between them, had sought to overturn the firing. Instead, the arbitrator wrote that the dismissal was consistent with Chapter 71, Section 41, and Mass. General Laws.
The arbitration case began Jan. 27, 2009, and continued to Sept. 27, 2011. Extensive postarbitration submission received on Jan. 30, 2012.
Arguing the case for the Arlington public schools were Kay H. Hodge and Geoffrey R. Bok of Stoneman Chandler of Boston.
Defending Bouris was Frank Mondano of Belliro & Mondano of Boston.
Attorneys for each side were asked to comment March 28. As of April 2, there had been no responses.
Read the full text of the decision here >> (1.8 mb .PDF)
A $7 million lawsuit brough by attorneys for Bouris and Coughlin remains in U.S. District Court, but the parties involved are attempting to reach a settlement through mediation.
This story was first published March 27, 2012, and updated April 2.
The day that Tara Rossi announced she was leaving the Dallin School as its principal after three years, the Newburyport Daily News reported she had taken a principal post in that North Shore city.
The Hampton, N.H. resident has a shorter commute after taking the job at the Molin Upper Elementary School, according to a story published May 31, the day she emailed the Dallin community to say she was leaving.
At the time, YourArlington made calls to learn where Rossi was going, but they were not returned.
Dallin will have an interim principal in the 2012-13. The appointment of Dr. Eileen Driscoll Woods, principal of the year in 1998, was announced in mid-June. Woods retired from the Andover public schools in 2008 after a long career in Andover.
In the May 31 email to parents, Rossi said she is leaving because of her long commute from New Hampshire and a family decision to remain in the seacoast area.
In an email May 31, she wrote: "I have greatly enjoyed my three years as principal here. I want to thank the teachers, students, parents, administration, school committee, and community, for their support during my tenure.
"Dallin is a very special school and I shall cherish the relationships that I’ve made with the staff, students, and the Dallin community. The strong value that the community places on education is a sustaining force in helping to support our students’ recognition of the importance of their education. The Dallin staff is the most passionate, dedicated, hard-working and enjoyable people I’ve ever known.
"I sincerely thank you for your support of the school and me. I wish you all the best."
Bodie announced Rossi's replacement June 12, writing, "I am very confident that Dr. Woods will provide excellent leadership next year while we begin search for a permanent principal."
This story was published Tuesday, July 17, 2012.
Arlington School Committee member Paul Schlichtman and Minuteman Superintendent Edward Bouquillon are among three finalists to lead Greater Lowell Technical High School.
The Lowell Sun reported that in a unanimous vote Tuesday, April 30, the School Committee chose the candidates with the top composite grades.
By order of the board members' composite scores, the finalists are:
* Schlichtman, district coordinator for research, testing and assessment for the Lowell Public Schools;
* Bouquillon, superintendent-director of Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington;
* David Norkiewicz, vocational and technical director at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica.
The vote eliminated James Alicata, a professor at Fitchburg State University, and John Sheehan, who oversees all technical programs at Greater Lowell Tech.
The committee set up interviews for May 29, and expects to pick a new superintendent May 30.
This story was published Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
The arbitrator in the second arbitration for fired Ottoson teacher Charles E. Coughlin Jr. has ruled in favor of the School Committee. "Superintendent [Nate] Levenson, despite his own flaws, made the correct decision for the right reasons," wrote Roberta Golick in the decision Wednesday, March 23.
The issue, she wrote, is whether Coughlin’s dismissal in August 2007 was consistent with the grounds stated in the statute; that is, conduct unbecoming and/or other just cause.
"At the end of the day, the record compels the conclusion that Mr. Coughlin demonstrated what Arlington described as 'astonishingly poor judgment' in violation of clear policy. Coughlin’s insistence that he did nothing inappropriate in his wooing of his Principal over Arlington’s email server and in his creation and sending of the 'vacation' email, if genuine, is so blind to the obvious that returning him back into Arlington’s educational environment is not only uncalled for and not only not in the best interests of the school system and the students, but would render a disservice to the community."
Coughlin and his attorney, Frank Mondano of Boston, have been asked to comment.
As of March 24, two sessions in the arbitration for fired Ottoson Principal Stavroual Bouris were scheduled for May.
Read the full text of the decision here >>
On March 2, 2010, Superior Judge Thayer Fremont-Smith rejected the arbitration ruling issued in October 2009 that called for Coughlin to be reinstated to his position with back pay. That led to a second arbitration before a new arbitrator.
The judge wrote that in ruling Oct. 27. 2009, arbitrator Richard G. Boulanger "did not make any findings or draw any conclusions about Coughlin's conduct." Instead, the arbitrator excluded any consideration of conduct and focused only on the administration's failure to follow the schools' policy about anonymous complaints. Read the full document here >>
Oct. 27, 2009: Coughlin wins long-running arbitration
This story was first published Wednesday, March 23, and updated the next day.