RHS shake-up – Dakin searching for new principal as Deruosi moves into different role

The baton is being passed in the leadership at Revere High School (RHS) this week, as long-time Principal Dave Deruosi has stepped aside to take a new job within the district.

Deruosi has been the principal at RHS for eight years, and will vacate it on July 1.

“We have a search for a principal going on right now,” said Superintendent Paul Dakin. “We’re looking at applications. We will have interest from inside candidates, but it’s also open to outside candidates. There’s no front runner now…The applications are pouring in and we’re sifting through and will tone it down to eight to 10 candidates. We’ll do that for another week and then start interviews.”

At last week’s School Committee meeting, Deruosi was allowed to assume the new Special Education Assistant Superintendent’s position that was created in March during a reorganization of the district’s administration.

Deruosi will become the Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services. That didn’t come without some controversy at the School Committee meeting, with member Fred Sannella voicing some discontent with the new organization.

All but Sannella approved of Deruosi’s appointment, which should result in a somewhat modest increase in pay. He made just under $130,000 last year.

“He was originally out of the special education world,” said Dakin. “This is his expertise.”

Deruosi will be in charge of trying to re-build the special education program, which suffered two key retirements this year. After the retirements, the district restructured the program and is looking to cut back on special education outplacements and on bringing more in-district special education students into the regular classroom.

Deruosi will head up that effort, as well as trying to build new special education programs to lure parents back to the Revere Public Schools from expensive outplacements.

“We’re making a huge move to inclusion classrooms,” said Dakin.

Deruosi first became considered for the job when officials learned that he was in the running for the Superintendent of Schools position in Marlborough. He was a finalist there, but did not end up getting the job.

“This has kind of been in the works for awhile,” said Dakin. “Since the restructuring in December, Dave has been on our mind. When he was a finalist in Marlborough, that kind of opened our eyes…Actually, we’re better off for him not getting the Marlborough job.”

Meanwhile, the biggest talk in the schools right now is who is applying for the job within the district.

Already, it has been confirmed that Whelan Principal John Macero has applied for the job.

“I have put in my paperwork to apply for the high school position,” said Macero. “It’s not that I’m not happy at Whelan. I love the Whelan. If I weren’t to receive the job at the high school, I’d be happy to be with my A.C. Whelan family. More importantly, I love working in Revere.”

Macero said that before becoming an elementary principal, he had extensive work at the high school level – specifically as a Fine Arts curriculum director in Saugus.

“I would have an opportunity to go to the next level at the high school – to go back to where I began,” he said. “I would love to help prepare our students’ resumes at the high school level and to help them go on to college.”

Meanwhile, it has been rumored that Susan B. Anthony Principal Chris Malone is also applying for the job. However, he did not want to confirm or deny that at the moment.

No other applicants had been discussed in the rumor mill. However, Dakin said that they have received applications from Lynn, Boston, Stoughton, Hanover and New Hampshire – to name just a few.

Dakin said anyone who inherits the job will have a huge undertaking in making sure the high school passes accreditation in 2012. There are questions as to whether the high school will be ready for that challenge. The next principal will certainly be on the hot seat for that matter.

“That’s going to be a massive project,” said Dakin. “We’re also looking at some changes to scheduling and with the school day. That needs some tinkering with. It’s been the same for about 10 to 12 years. We’re pretty well set down the teaching and learning road…A new principal is probably going to have to ramp up with our curriculum, but will also be bringing in some fresh ideas.”

Dakin said he hopes to seek a vote of the School Committee for a new principal at the last meeting in June.

Dakin frustrated with state of Athletic Dept.

It’s time to get physical – at least according to Superintendent Paul Dakin.

Dakin said that with the departure of RHS Athletic Director Keith Correia and RHS Principal Dave Deruosi, he would like to see the new faces filling those positions to come up with a new athletic philosophy.

Specifically, hopefully, a winning one.

With the notable exception of some outstanding teams, for the most part Revere athletics has been lackluster and lagging for decades; some would even say for generations.

Dakin said he hopes that new faces will bring a new enthusiasm to high school student athletics.

“I would like to take a serious look at our athletics philosophy and see if a new principal and a new athletic director can work together to come up with a way to strengthen that department,” he said. “If they can come up with something together that’s something I would be looking for…Athletics stands to be something that drives a community back together and in my time in the city it’s not been the case where that’s been happening. A good [high school] sports program can bring a community together.”

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