Search Begins for West Tisbury School Principal
Remy Tumin

At a meeting Tuesday Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss said he would like to avoid appointing an interim principal to replace outgoing principal Michael Halt, and hire a permanent principal in time for the start of the school year next September.

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West Tisbury School Principal Michael Halt Takes Job in California
Sara Brown

West Tisbury school principal Michael Halt will leave the Vineyard at the end of the school year to take a job as a high school principal in California.

Mr. Halt, who has served as principal at the West Tisbury school since 2004, has accepted a job as principal of San Clemente High School in San Clemente, Calif., superintendent of schools James H. Weiss confirmed Thursday.

He said Mr. Halt planned to announce his departure to his staff at the end of the day Thursday.

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As Special Needs Programs Grow In Complexity, So Do Budgets
Katie Ruppel

Madeline Way tapped on an iPad in her Project Headway classroom at the West Tisbury School.

“The kids who use this program cannot talk,” she explained. “But they can go like this in a fury.”

Tap, tap, tap. The iPad speaks: “I — want — puzzles.”

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Finalists for Principals Include Six from Island; Appointments Thursday
Chris Burrell

Six Island educators are among the nine finalists now vying for the
interim principal jobs in both the West Tisbury and Chilmark schools.

The high-speed search for school leaders comes less than a month
after two principals in the Up-Island district - Elaine Pace and
Carlos Colley - handed in their resignations after each serving
three years on the job.

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Edward Jerome Takes the Helm at West Tisbury School for Year
Rachel Nava Rohr

Retired Edgartown School principal Edward J. Jerome will take over
on Tuesday as interim principal of West Tisbury School, superintendent
of schools Dr. James H. Weiss announced this week. West Tisbury School
principal Michael Halt, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine
Corps Reserves, leaves this weekend for active duty in California and

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Principal at West Tisbury School Is Called to Active Duty in Iraq
Rachel Nava Rohr

West Tisbury School principal Michael A. Halt, a lieutenant colonel
in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, was called back to active
duty this week and will leave for training in just over a week to
prepare for a tour of duty in Iraq.

Mr. Halt received the official letter on Wednesday and has known
with near certainty that he would be leaving for a little more than two
weeks. He must report for duty by Jan. 15.

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West Tisbury School Celebrates Principal Halt’s Return from Iraq
Jack Shea

January tears were replaced by October smiles welcoming U.S. Marine Lieut. Col. Michael Halt back to West Tisbury on Monday.

Better known as school principal Mr. Halt to 283 students at the school, Mr. Halt was welcomed home with simple heartfelt words by his peers and was serenaded by the student body and by the faculty after an eight-month tour of active duty, including seven and a half months based in Seleucia, Iraq.

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Denied Administration Post, West Tisbury Teacher Objects
Remy Tumin

Passed over for an administration job, a science teacher at the West Tisbury School whose students scored highest in this year’s state MCAS exams, has angrily and publicly appealed for an explanation, saying without one he would be forced to leave the Vineyard school system.

An impassioned Karl Nelson aired his grievance at a meeting of the up-Island school committee on Monday, arguing that he had been unfairly denied the job of interim assistant principal at the West Tisbury School this summer. An out-of-state candidate was selected.

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Up-Island School Committee Tables Call to Wrest Cafeteria Control from Chartwells
Sara Brown

Mirroring debates around the country about the health of school lunches and the constraints of shrinking budgets, a Tuesday hearing about the Up-Island Regional School District’s 2013 operating budget centered around whether and how the schools could fit a healthier but more expensive food program into their budget. The well-attended hearing included a vocal group of parents and teachers advocating for the schools to take over the school lunch program.

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News Update: Tuesday, Dec. 20 - Up-Island Schools Opt out of Chartwells, Will Make Own Food

The Up-Island Regional School District committee voted on Monday to part ways with food service provider Chartwells at the end of the school year and instead will opt for its own meals program based at the West Tisbury school.

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