The 2022-23 school year has kicked off in the Tri-Towns, with a few new faces among educational staff. After Mattapoisett Schools Principal Rose Bowman retired this year, there was the question of how best to replace her.
Bowman had presided over Center School while working in coalition with Kevin Tavares, then assistant principal at Old Hammondtown. Rather than continue the dual structure, it was decided that Tavares would be promoted to principal at Old Hammondtown and a new hire would be brought on as principal of Center School.
Dr. Linda Ashley was selected for that role, her background making her perfect for the responsibilities a principal undertakes.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Ashley to the Mattapoisett schools, and I look forward to working with her,” Tavares enthused. “She shares our dedication to providing high-quality education and social-emotional development for our students and will be a valuable addition to our elementary leadership team.”
Dr. Ashley started her career as a teacher in New Jersey and worked additionally as a principal and curriculum director in a variety of schools before making her way to Mattapoisett. She earned her educational degrees in none other than Massachusetts itself with a Master of Education in moderate special needs from Lesley College (now Lesley University) and a Doctorate of Education in educational leadership from Northeastern University.
“Right out of the gate Dr. Ashley has shown her ability to lead with sharp focus and high expertise,” Old Rochester Regional Superintendent of Schools Michael Nelson stated. “It is clear that her years of experience serve her well as she navigates today’s educational landscape. I feel confident that each school day she will continue to settle into her role as the Principal of Center School and build on the strong foundation that is in place.”
Dr. Ashley herself said she was “honored and delighted” to be a part of the Tri-Town educational family. “I am excited to get to know each Center School community member and build strong partnerships as we set goals for the future and begin our important work together.”
When asked what priorities she had for her first year as principal, she mentioned her goals of cohesiveness, making sure that the students, staff and families were all on the same page. She noted that it is important to make sure everyone is heard, respected and included in order to make sure Center School is an environment primed for thriving and growth.
In addition to Dr. Ashley, Shari Fedorowicz has been brought on as the new assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning, replacing Jannell Pearson-Campbell. Having started her career as a scientist studying marine mammals, Fedorowicz brought her love of marine biology into the classroom as a science teacher, obtaining a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in education administration from Bridgewater State University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lesley University.
“As the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, my goal is to develop strong,working relationships with educators, staff and the community to work as a team to excel and grow the districts for the benefit of the students. I am proud to be working with such passionate educators and the community,” said Dr. Fedorowicz.
Her work as a scientist has taken her far afield from the Tri-Town area, including places like Oregon, Hawaii and Texas, as well as research in Costa Rica and Australia.
“It brings in that kind of global perspective and experience,” she observed, something she feels helps her in her role as an educator and administrator.
“The most important part of what I do is making a difference for kids,” said Dr. Fedorowicz. “One of the biggest things is building relationships with people, building relationships not only with people in the district like other administrators, principals (and) teachers but also the community (and) the school committee … because it’s really a team of people.”
Nelson agreed with the sentiment, expressing enthusiasm for Dr. Fedorowicz’s addition to the team.
“I am truly excited about the direction Dr. Fedorowicz will lead our schools in relation to teaching and learning,” said Nelson. “Our schools have such strong teachers and support staff that I know Dr. Fedorowicz will enjoy working side by side with them as we meet the educational needs of our students.
“Finding strong school administrators is never easy – especially in today’s hiring environment. I feel strongly that we are fortunate that two seasoned and highly motivated educator leaders joined our team this school year.”
Jack MC Staier