HPS superintendent introduces trio of new hires

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At the July 9 School Committee meeting, superintendent Carol Cavanaugh introduced three new hires in the Hopkinton Public Schools.

Chris Ocampo is the new Hopkinton Middle School assistant principal. He has spent the past decade in a variety of roles in the Framingham Public Schools and recently obtained his administrator’s license.

“I am very excited to join Hopkinton,” he said. “I feel like it’s a fresh breath of air for me.”

Ocampo’s undergraduate degree was in business, but he decided he “didn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day and crunch numbers.” A friend helped him land a job as a paraprofessional at Framingham High School, and he quickly was hooked on teaching. “Once I did, I fell in love with it,” he said.

Laura Theis, who had been teaching Spanish at Hopkinton High School, will be the interim HHS assistant principal for the 2020-21 school year. She replaces Josh Hanna, who left to become principal at Franklin.

“We have not given Laura much of a break,” Cavanaugh said with a smile. “Every day we’ve got her building schedules and creating curriculum. She’s been taxed so we’re keeping her very busy.”

Said Theis: “I’ve been with Hopkinton Public Schools since 2012, so I’m very familiar with the great things that we do and the continued growth that we’ve had. I’m looking forward to getting into this role and continuing the work that [principal] Evan [Bishop] and [assistant principal] Justin [Pominville] are doing in the main office at the high school.”

Jennifer Cuker was named director of English language acquisition, equity and access. Cuker previously served as interim director of English language education in the Northborough and Southborough school system for one year, after teaching ESL (English as a second language) since 2002 in Natick, Leominster and Northborough/Southborough, at all grade levels.

“Our EL population has been growing steadily over the years, and we really do need somebody in an administrative role to govern that department,” Cavanaugh said. “We are asking an awful lot of this new candidate, because not only will she be overlooking the English learners but she will be overseeing some of our work in the district, which is also very important, in equity and access.”

Said Cuker: “I’m very excited about the equity and access piece. That is vitally important in our schools and in our community right now. I can’t wait to serve in this role, and I’m delighted to be here.”

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