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Elmwood School principal candidates meet with officials, public at forums

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Education, Featured: Education

Two finalists for the principal’s job at Elmwood School met with faculty, community members and the School Committee on Thursday to answer questions during several forums. Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said the replacement for retiring principal Anne Carver will be named early next week.

The finalists are David Brauninger, principal of Lt. Peter M. Hansen Elementary School in Canton, and Hopkinton resident Tiffany Ostrander, principal of the Calvin Coolidge School in Shrewsbury.

According to Cavanaugh, the first forums were for Elmwood faculty and staff as well as Hopkins School Grade 4 teachers, because the proposed Elmwood replacement school would have Grades 2-3-4.

In attendance were teachers, paraprofessionals, administrative assistants and district administrators. Questions centered around the candidates’ experiences and feelings on the related arts, special education, the role of paraprofessionals and working with diverse families, among other topics.

Additional forums with the School Committee and parents and community members gave the finalists the opportunity to present brief biographies and answer questions.

Brauninger received his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Stonehill College and a Master of Education degree from Simmons College. Additionally, he earned a Master of Education degree in organizational management from Endicott College and completed the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA) Leadership Licensure Program.

Prior to his current position, he served as student services coordinator for Canton High School and began his career as a special education teacher and alternative learning program coordinator/team chair for Franklin High School.

Ostrander earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Maine and holds a Master of Science in Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Before her current position, Ostrander served as assistant principal of the Floral Street School in Shrewsbury and was the assistant principal of data and instruction at the Eastlawn Elementary School in Burlington, North Carolina.

She began her career as an elementary classroom teacher in grades 2, 3, 4 at Sylvan Elementary School in Snow Camp, North Carolina.

Ostrander has been serving as vice chair of the Elementary School Building Committee for the proposed Elmwood School project.

The superintendent said the candidates originally were among a group of eight slated for interviews, all of whom were either sitting principals or who had been principals at one time.

The first round of interviews were held on March 14 and March 15, with six individuals accepting to participate.

Three finalists were chosen and interviewed at the central office on March 21 by an administrative panel, Cavanaugh said. Although administration voted to move all three semifinalists forward, only Brauninger and Ostrander accepted that next step.

Carver has been principal at Elmwood School since 2016. Prior to that role, she was assistant principal at Elmwood for three years and an elementary school teacher in Worcester for nearly 27 years at four schools.

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