by Jacob Sims Speyer and Emily Moss
Riley housemaster Mark Aronson was named interim principal for the 2015-2016 school year in a letter sent to parents by superintendent David Fleishman on Tuesday.
Aronson, who originally planned to retire at the end of the year, will replace principal Jennifer Price after she accepted the North Andover superintendent position. Although an effort was made to find a permanent principal, none of the candidates were selected for the job.
“My agenda is to facilitate students and teachers to do what they do best,” said Aronson, adding that he aims to keep the school running smoothly rather than introducing any significant new goals.
After working at North for over 18 years, Aronson said he has “developed a lot of close relationships with members of the school community.” In addition, he said he feels that Price has left North in a good shape.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to doing,” Aronson said. “It’s a great way to wrap up my career.”
Several students and community members also expressed positive feelings about the decision.
Sophomore Sofia Perez-Dietz noted, “At first, I was not sure how I felt about having an interim principal, but now that they have chosen a member of the NNHS community I have way more confidence in the decision.”
She added, “also, hopefully, Mr. Aronson will be able to help integrate our new full time principal into NNHS.”
Senior Nathan Buchwald, similarly, noted, “He’s been at here for a while, so he knows the inner workings of the school and understands the culture and spirit of North, which will allow him to move into the position much more easily.”
The full text from Fleishman’s letter reads as follows:
April 14, 2015
Dear Newton North Community,
As you are aware, I have decided to name an interim principal for the 2015-16 school year. I am very pleased to let you know that Mark Aronson, who was planning to retire from his position as a housemaster this June, will be staying at North for an additional year to serve as interim principal.
Mark has served with distinction as a housemaster for thirteen years. He is widely respected by all stakeholders in the North community and has wonderful relationships with students, staff and families. Mark is highly respected because he has a capacity for leadership that is thoughtful, collaborative and fair. He is someone to whom faculty and staff turn to when they are in need of wisdom, support and perspective.
I know Newton North students will be happy to have an interim principal who is a familiar presence in the hallways, always greeting students in his warm way, while offering support, advice and encouragement. Regardless of the situation, Mark is calm, measured and focused on finding an outcome that is supportive of students.
Newton North will also benefit from having an interim leader who has a keen understanding of the school and the system. Mark has spent his entire career in the Newton Public Schools and has a clear sense of what it takes to be a successful leader of a large institution. Mark began his career as a math teacher at Day Middle School and taught there for thirteen years. He then transitioned to North as a math teacher before becoming the assistant housemaster and then a housemaster.
I have spoken with Jennifer Price about Mark’s appointment and she has great confidence that he is well positioned to lead the school next year. Mark and Jen have a terrific working relationship and I am confident that the transition will be seamless.
Superintendent of Schools