Superintendent Marinel McGrath has announced the permanent appointments of Steve Murray and Becky Franks as principals of Andover High School and West Middle School, respectively.

McGrath announced the news Monday afternoon, saying she "decided to forgo a formal search process to fill these positions because I believe Mr. Murray and Ms. Franks have the leadership qualities, the talent and the vision to assume these key positions in our district to which they are very committed."

Both have been serving as interim principal since early December following the resignation of Christopher Lord as principal of Andover High.

Murray, the former principal of West Middle School, was immediately appointed to take Lord's place at the high school on an interim basis. And Franks, then vice principal of West Middle, was moved up to the post of interim principal.

Now, their titles are permanent.

"(Murray) is a thoughtful and compassionate educator and a leader who is not afraid to tackle any challenge," McGrath wrote in her message. "Most importantly, he has a deep commitment to our young people, teachers and staff. I have every confidence that Mr. Murray will not only lead the (Andover High) though its transition to a new schedule in September 2016, but his calm and empathic leadership will provide the very best for the AHS community in the coming years."

McGrath said she is equally pleased that Franks has accepted her offer to serve as principal of West Middle School. 

"It has been a joy to observe her combine her deep understanding of teaching and learning with a clear leadership vision that will enable WMS to continue with its initiatives," she wrote. "(Franks) cares deeply about children, respects teachers and staff, partners well with parents and has high academic expectations for all students."

McGrath said she is confident that Andover's new permanent principals will have "successful and productive futures for many years to come."

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