Two finalists named in search for new Island high school principal

The finalists plan to visit Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to meet with staff and tour the facility.

The search for a new Martha's Vineyard Regional High School principal is down to two candidates. — File photo by Susan Safford

Superintendent of schools James Weiss and a search committee has narrowed the field of candidates for the principal’s job at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

Gilbert Traverso and David Maxwell are scheduled to visit the high school this week to meet with the administrative staff, the faculty, school committee members, and students.

Mr. Traverso, principal of the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield, will visit on Wednesday, June 18.

Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School provides academic and vocational instruction to students in grades nine through twelve for approximately 1,632 throughout the Springfield area.

Mr. Maxwell, assistant principal of West Des Moines Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, will visit on Friday, June 20.

Valley High School is a three-year comprehensive high school with an enrollment of approximately 1,900 students, according to the school website. The campus is located in West Des Moines, a suburban community of approximately 55,000 residents bordering the western city limits of Des Moines.

The men will tour the high school and then be available for discussion with the various school constituencies in the library conference room, from 10 am to 3 pm. A schedule is posted on the school’s website, Edline.

The final decision of who to hire rests with Mr. Weiss.

Mr. Weiss announced the resignation of former principal Stephen Nixon, principal since 2008, on April 28. Mr. Weiss granted Mr. Nixon a leave of absence for health reasons. The next day, Mr. Weiss appointed Assistant Superintendent Matthew D’Andrea as acting principal to fill in until a new principal was hired.

At a meeting on May 5, the MVRHS school committee accepted Mr. Nixon’s resignation, effective at the end of the school year. Mr. Weiss gave the committee a copy of a principal search timeline, which he said would be a relatively quick process.

He had already posted the job on, an online site for teaching and school jobs. Mr. Weiss put together a search committee of 8 to 12 people, including school committee members, administrators, teachers, parents, students, and community and organization members, by May 12. The position posting closed on May 21, and Mr. Weiss said he planned for the committee to review applications and select interviewees by May 27.