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In 1989, when Michael J. Welch was a 25-year-old aspiring teacher scraping by as a rowing coach at MIT, he got one of his first classroom assignment opportunities as a substitute at Dedham Middle School.
It will be in Dedham again where Welch, now 50, will have a shot at another first in his career when he takes on the role of superintendent July 1 after nine years as principal at Framingham High School.
“I didn’t expect to be a finalist at all,” Welch said. “I just wanted to see if people could look at me as a viable candidate. ... Trying to set the course for the whole district, I’m very excited about that.”