The ongoing search for a new regional high school principal is nearing its end point, with two final candidates scheduled to visit the school this week.
Gil Traverso, principal of Roger L. Putnam Vocational-Technical Academy in Springfield, will visit on Wednesday. David Maxwell, associate principal at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, will visit on Friday. Both candidates will receive student-led tours before sitting down with members of the principal search committee and high school personnel.
Mr. Traverso has been the principal of Putnam Academy since 2010, according to candidate biographies provided by schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss. Prior to his tenure at Putnam Academy, Mr. Traverso was an administrator in the Connecticut Technical High School system for 14 years. He is also a diversity and inclusion trainer with the Anti-Defamation League, and received a master’s of science in educational leadership from Connecticut State University.
Putnam Academy has a student body of more than 1,300, according to the biography.
Valley High School in Iowa, has a student body of about 2,000.
Mr. Maxwell received a master’s in education from Iowa State University and has been associate principal of Valley High School for nine years. He also spent three years as a dean of students, and eight as a high school language arts teacher. His biography notes that his mother is from Oak Bluffs and that he is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
Assistant superintendant Matthew D’Andrea has been acting principal at the regional high school since late April following Stephen Nixon’s resignation. Mr. Nixon is currently on medical leave, with his resignation due to take effect June 30.
Mr. Weiss said the search committee started with a pool of about 35 applicants, which was winnowed to a group of 10 contacted for interviews. Four of those received other job offers in the interim and after interviews, a group of three finalists was set. One of those three withdrew, leaving Mr. Traverso and Mr. Maxwell.
Dr. Weiss said he was unsure of a timetable for the final selection decision.
“I’ll get input from people talking to the candidates when they visit,” he said. “If there’s a really clear sentiment when I’ve checked all the references then it will be easy.”