The head of a vocational school in Springfield has been hired as the new principal for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
Gilbert Traverso will take the helm at the high school sometime before the start of the new school year in the fall, Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss said Tuesday by telephone and in an emailed press release.
Mr. Traverso is leaving his post at Putnam Academy in Springfield, where he has served as principal for the past four years. The academy has over 1,300 students. “The experience he’s got will allow him to be a good leader for us. I’ve been told he knows just about every kid in his present school by name, so if that’s the case then he should have an easier time here and really be able to interact with students,” Mr. Weiss said. “Which is what we want.”
Mr. Traverso visited the high school two weeks ago along with another finalist for the job. He will replace high school principal Stephen Nixon who resigned his post in April. Assistant superintendent Matthew D’Andrea has been serving as interim principal.
“I think he has really good leadership style and a good personality,” Mr. Weiss said of the new principal. “He’s real low key and he reaches out to people and tries to connect with them and that’s really important.” He said contract details were still being finalized.
Mr. Traverso and his wife plan to move to the Island from their home in Hamden, Conn., Mr. Weiss said. He brings with him 14 years of experience as a technical high school administrator where he served as assistant principal of the Connecticut Department of Education-Connecticut Technical High School system and seven years as a diversity and inclusion trainer for the Anti-Defamation League in Hamden, Conn. He received a master’s of science degree in educational leadership from Connecticut State University in 2009. According to his candidate biography provided by Mr. Weiss, Mr. Traverso is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish.
“I’m really pleased we got the appointment and he’ll be a good person for us,” Mr. Weiss said, adding: “I’m excited to have it over and done with and have a new principal appointed. That’s very, very important.”
Reached by telephone on Thursday, Mr. Traverso said he looks forward to the move.
“It seemed like it was a school that was on a good path,” he said, adding:
“In my time here in Springfield, I was doing building programs and building methods and practices and policies and procedures and I'm looking forward to enter into something that's already working and offer insider enhancement rather than be the builder.
“I'm looking forward to being a member of the team at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and I really want to say thank you to the school committee, the superintendent and all the people who interviewed me. In terms of going through the process and being selected as the finalist, I’m very grateful for that.”