Superintendent LaCroix Departs , Leaving Behind A Strong Foundation

In a group photograph during Dr. Maureen LaCroix’s last School Committee meeting (L to R) Business Manager David Coehlo; School Committee members Ed Pierce, Noreen O’Gara and Abbie Seibert; Assistant Superintendent Cyndy Taymore; Dr. LaCroix; incoming School Committee chair Anne Bickford; incoming Superintendent and current Principal of Bedford High School Jon Sills; School committee member Brad Hafer.

by Kim Siebert MacPhail

As the final school committee meeting for the academic year adjourned, retiring Superintendent Maureen La Croix’s  15-year tenure in Bedford came to a close as well.

Although it may have been the last of LaCroix’s career in Bedford, according to School Committee members, the meeting  embodied all that the community had come to expect from her leadership:  dedication to best practices, high standards and a focus on building firm foundations for the future.

“The summary of goals and achievements that the Superintendent has presented tonight is impressive not only for what was done this year but for the groundwork that’s been laid for long-term planning,” said committee member Brad Hafer. “Considering all the external things that have been going on—the Common Core compliance, the new evaluation system, the financial constraints, and all the administrative staff turnover, it’s even more impressive what you’ve accomplished, especially with your own retirement looming. You’ve left us in great shape.”

“You have been a mentor, a leader, and a friend, and I thank you,” added committee member Anne Bickford.

Turning then to outgoing Assistant Superintendent Cyndy Taymore, who will assume the top leadership role in Melrose on July 1, Bickford likened Taymore’s skill to that of a master mechanic: “You’ve been a tremendous asset. You just opened up the hood, looked at all the parts, and said, ‘We can just tweak this here and tweak that there.’ Now all the parts are ticking along much better.”

The list of new administrative hires for the coming year, which begins on July 1, is substantial and includes the following appointments: Jon Sills, currently Bedford High principal, has been named to replace LaCroix as Superintendent of Schools, and Claire Jackson has been named Interim Assistant Superintendent; Director of Special Education will be Denise Oldham with Casey Grillo as Assistant Director; Bedford High Principal will be Henry Turner with Kathleen Boynton as Assistant Principal; Kevin Tracy, currently Assistant Principal at BHS, will be the new Principal of John Glenn Middle School; and Maryanne Vines will be the new Program Administrator for Special Education (grades 6-12). Network Administrator is Colleen Murray and the new Data Compliance support person is Will McColl.

The search for a new K-2 principal at Lt. Eleazar Davis School did not result in a suitable match, so the town is requesting a waiver from the state to retain current principal Nancy Peterson for one more year. Peterson is a retiree who was allowed by the Department of Education to accept the Davis School position on a temporary, one year basis. She must again obtain a waiver to remain in the job while the search for her replacement is reopened.