Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 1, 2012

WEB UPDATE: Two AHS principal finalists picked, visiting Friday and Monday

Andover has announced two finalists to become the next Andover High School principal, and the school community will have a chance to meet with them tomorrow (Friday) and Monday, March 5.

Parents and the rest of the community may meet with each individual during separate, 45-minute evening receptions on Monday, March 5.

The finalists are James Lee, principal of Manchester Essex Regional School District High School since 2006, and Christopher Lord, principal of Shea High School in Pawtucket, R.I. since 2003. Brief biographies of each, as supplied by the town's human resources department, are included below.

Lord will visit the high school on Friday, March 2, to tour the school and meet with students, teachers and administrators. Lee will do the same on Monday, March 5.

Lee will meet with parents and other interested community members on Monday, March 5 from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.. Lord will meet with the community on Monday from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. Both receptions will be in the Andover High School library, 80 Shawsheen Road.

The Andover Public Schools made the announcement about the finalists and their pending visits today, Thursday, through a 1:20 p.m. email to parents by Superintendent Marinel McGrath. The Townsman was informed through a 1:23 p.m. email from the Andover human resources department.

Andover High has been run by an interim principal since Oct. 4, 2010.

Andover had hoped to hire a new principal last spring. But at the end of last school year, the schools reported that the search committee tasked with reviewing 18 candidates "found no viable candidate who can assume this role." A new search was conducted this year, with the intent of having a new principal in place for July 1, 2012. Lee and Lord were selected from a pool of 29 candidates.


The school system reported the following plan for daytime visits, prior to the community receptions on Monday, March 5.

Friday, March 2: Christopher Lord

Monday, March 5: James Lee

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Breakfast meeting with high school administrators

Candidates will begin their day with a breakfast meeting in the high school principal's conference room. This meeting will be with the high school leadership team and high school program advisors team.

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Tour Andover High School:

Candidates will be given a tour of the facilities and an opportunity to walk through classrooms to observe what is going on.

10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. — Meet the students

Candidates will be given an opportunity to meet high school students and talk with them about their issues and concerns. All students will be encouraged to attend this lunchtime meeting, which will be organized and hosted in the TV studio. (This opportunity will be extended for the three lunch periods, 10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., so that all students will have the opportunity to drop by and say hello and ask their questions.)

1 to 2 p.m. — Meet Andover's administrative team

Lunch with system-wide administrators will be given the opportunity to visit with the candidates in a conference room at the high school and talk to them about issues facing the administrative team.

2:05 to 2:30 p.m.- - Meet the teachers

After school, a full-staff reception will be held in the High School's library for teachers and other staff members to meet candidates. This meeting will begin immediately after school (2:05 p.m.) and end at approximately 2:30 p.m.


Parents will be given the opportunity to meet the candidates in the School Library on Monday, March 5.

5:45 to 6:30 p.m.: Reception for James Lee

6:45 to 7:30 p.m.: Reception for Christopher Lord


The following information is shown as provided by the Andover Public Schools.

James Lee

Mr. Lee is currently the principal of Manchester Essex Regional School District High School.

He began this position in July of 2006, but served as Manchester Essex's Middle School Principal for a year before going to the High School. Prior to working in Manchester, Mr. Lee was principal of Newburyport's High School for three years. From 1996- 1999, Mr. Lee served as the Director of the Frontier Extension Program for the Frontier Regional School District in South Deerfield, MA; this was an alternative high school program for at-risk youth. Mr. Lee began his career as a special education teacher in the Stoneham Public Schools where he worked from 1990 to 1996 as a high school special educator. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Salem State College. Mr. Lee graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst with a degree in Business Administration. He obtained his license in moderate special education from Salem State College and his Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Massachusetts/Lowell.

Christopher Lord

Dr. Lord is currently the principal of Shea High School in Pawtucket, R.I. He has been Shea's principal since 2003. Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Lord was the Assistant Principal of both the Middletown High School in Middletown, RI (1998-2003) and the Stevens High School in Claremont, N.H. (1994-1996). He began his career as a science teacher in 1985 and taught science and math in various public school districts from 1985-1994. From 1996-1998, he was employed as a consultant for EduTEAM, Inc. in New Hampshire. Dr. Lord is a graduate of Tufts University where he received his B.S. in Biology and M.A. Ed. in Education and Biology. He also received a M.A. Ed. in Educational Administration from California State University in Los Angeles and his Ph. D. in Educational Administration from the University of Connecticut.