Ottoson principal, assistant seek jobs in Reading

Tim RuggereRuggere

Ruggere interviews in Cambridge

As Ottoson's enrollment expands, two members of the middle school's leadership team are seeking jobs elsewhere.

Timothy R. Ruggere, principal at the school since 2009, and one of his assistants, John Flood are pursuing opportunities at schools in nearby communities.

In a twist, both Ruggere and Flood are vying for the same job, to be principal at the Parker Middle School in Reading. Ruggere taught in nearby North Reading schools for nine years.

In addition, Ruggere faces an interview, scheduled for Thursday, March 17, for the head of school at the Rindge Avenue Upper School, a middle school in Cambridge, where he is among four finalists.

Both administrators have served at Ottoson during a period of remarkable growth, as the school's student population pushes to make it among the largest middle schools in the state.

Jean Cummings, who covers school issues for Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner, confirmed the finalists for the Cambridge job. Besides Ruggere, they are Julie Craven, current interim head of the Rindge Avenue Upper School; Kristen St. George, principal of Chenery Middle School in Belmont; and Cyndi Weekes, assistant principal of the Randolph Community Middle School in Randolph.

Barbara Allen, of Cambridge Public Schools' human resources, has been asked to comment.

A Feb. 23 posting to the official blog of the Reading Public Schools, notes these finalists for Parker Middle School principal: Besides Ruggere and Flood, Richele Shankland, assistant principal at Lynnfield Middle School; and Jennifer Turner, assistant principal at Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington.

The Reading finalists were interviewed by Parker Middle School staff and Reading community members Feb. 29, the blog post says.

Robert Spiegel, head of human resources for the Arlington Public Schools, reported Ruggere's current salary is $124,600. Flood's salary is $91,039. He has been an assistant principal at Ottoson since Oct. 19, 2009. He is the seventh-grade assistant.

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie declined to comment March 14, as did Ruggere and Flood.

Ruggere began at Ottoson on July 1, 2009, after announcement of the appointment the previous March.

At the time, 43, he was described as bringing the energy of youth and the experience of four Massachusetts districts, including a deanship in Salem High that led an academy that was "like Ottoson."

In 2009, he was Ottoson's first permanent principal since mid-2007.  He had been principal of the Dedham Middle School for three years, having moved up from assistant principal.

The Dorchester native knows middle-school classrooms from his years as a teacher at the William H. Taft Middle School. Among his students in North Reading schools was the daughter of Bob Penta, then Peirce principal.

After North Reading and before Dedham, he served three years at Salem High School, where he was an assistant principal, known there as a dean of students. He led a freshman academy whose aim was to aid the transition from middle school to high school and curtail dropouts.

In the Arlington interview process, Ruggere said he got to know Arlington when, as a child, he went to St. Paul's School in Cambridge.

March 2, 2009: Dedham Middle School principal to take over at Ottoson in July

March 3, 2009: Vigor, middle-school savvy guide new Ottoson principal

This news story was published Wednesday, March 16, 2016.