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New principals picked for Cabot, Underwood schools

Posted by Sarah Thomas  March 22, 2011 03:00 PM

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Newton school superintendent David Fleishman has announced the selection of new principals to lead the Cabot and Underwood Elementary schools.

Kathleen Zimmerman, Assistant Principal at the John Duval Jr. Elementary School in the Whitman-Hanson District, will replace current Underwood principal Dr. David Castelline. Dr. Mary Lou (Lou) DiBella, principal of the Holland Elementary School in Holland, will replace current Cabot principal Jim Swaim. Both new principals begin their jobs on July 1.

"These are the first new principals I have selected since beginning my tenure as superintendent," Fleishman said in an interview. "I feel great about these choices. The process was rigorous and thorough, and the schools are happy. I think they will both work out extremely well."

Fleishman announced both positions in letters to the community, along with the appointment of a new director of information technology for the district. Leo Brehm, current director of technology in the Sharon school district, will replace current IT director Shelley Chamberlain.

Prior to taking her current post, DiBella was a principal at the Newton Elementary School in Greenfield, MA and an assistant principal and a consulting autism teacher in the Springfield school district. She has a BA from Brown University and an MA and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Zimmerman was an elementary school teacher in the Hingham School District. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and has a Masters from Simmons College and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Fitchburg State College.

Sarah Thomas can be reached at sarah.m.thomas@gmail.com.

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