Candidates narrowed down for next Chilmark principal

The candidates for the next Chilmark School principal have been narrowed down to two finalists. —MV Times

The candidates for the next Chilmark School principal have been narrowed down to two educators, one of whom is an Islander.

Among those who applied to take the reins of the up-Island school, it comes down to Edgartown School third grade teacher Alicia Knight and Kate Squire, a fourth grade teacher at Willard Elementary School in the Concord public school system. According to Martha’s Vineyard superintendent Richie Smith, both teachers have gone through principal licensure programs. 

“We see them both as excellent candidates,” Smith said. 

Current Chilmark School principal Susan Stevens announced in October that she would be retiring after the end of this school year. She has led the school as the principal since 2009. The transition from Stevens’ retirement has been an ongoing discussion point for the Up-Island Regional School Committee. 

The two candidates also had opportunities to meet the school community and officials, which Smith said was a way to gain feedback from parents and children about the potential principals. In December, Chilmark issued a survey to gather public input on what the community would like to see in the next school leader. 

“I am honored to be a finalist for the position of principal of the Chilmark School,” Knight told The Times, adding she “thoroughly enjoyed” her visit to the school on Tuesday, Feb. 20. “It was encouraging to see the number of people interested in the future of the Chilmark School. Everyone was very kind and welcoming. I hope to be invited back soon!”

Squire was not immediately available to comment. 

Members of the Chilmark Principal Search Committee plan to visit each of the candidates’ schools the week after winter break. Although no date has yet been set for a decision or final interview, Smith said the choice for the next principal will likely happen in the second week of March.