Brand Announces 4 Key Personnel Decisions — Brian Caira Named Permanent Assistant Principal At Middle School; Social Emotional Specialist Positions Created

WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington School Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand recently announced the filling of several important positions within Wilmington Public Schools.

Brian Caira Named Permanent Assistant Principal At Wilmington Middle School

Brian Caira has been appointed as a permanent assistant principal at the Middle School.

“In addition to serving as the Interim Assistant Principal for the past year, Brian served as a Grade 6 Middle School teacher for ten years here in Wilmington,” said Dr. Brand. “He’s been a very active member of the Wilmington community, and the Wilmington Middle School community in particular, including his involvement in Student Council, Best Buddies, and the Boys & Girls Club.”

Dr. Brand noted that the search was run like every other leadership search conducted in the district since his tenure began. A screening committee identified three finalists to move forward and members of the committee conducted site visits, in addition to interviews and a public forum for parents/guardians and community members.

“Brian was the best fit for this role for this school community at this time,” added Dr. Brand. “We’re exciting to have him officially join us in this capacity.”

Michelle LeVesque Promoted To Elementary STEM Coordinator 

Dr. Brand also announced that Michelle LeVesque has been tapped to serve as the district’s next Elementary (K-5) STEM Coordinator. She has been a teacher in Wilmington since 2006, serving as a 4th grade teacher at West Intermediate School.

“We’re excited to have Michelle on board,” said Assistant Superintendent Christine Elliott. “We felt the loss this year of not having the full position after October. Michelle actually stepped to take on some of that responsibility as Lead Math teacher to help keep things afloat. I’m confident she’ll seamlessly transition into this position in the fall.”

“Michelle has been involved in numerous district committees and initiatives during her time here in Wilmington and is always willing to get involved,” continued Elliott. “She has offered support to colleagues both formally through professional development opportunities and informally through mentoring and team collaboration. Michelle is passionate about the STEM curriculum and excited to support her colleagues and students in this new capacity beginning in the fall.”

Lauren Sabella & Erin Dunham Hired To Fill District’s New Positions — Social Emotional Learning & Family Engagement Specialists 

Lauren Sabella and Erin Dunham were recently offered and accepted the two nearly created Social Emotional Learning & Family Engagement Specialist positions in Wilmington Public Schools.

“Lauren has experience working with all learners, staff and families. She has strong clinical skills and has been the Behavioral Health Coach for the Reading Public Schools since October 2017. She has developed, implemented and supported SEL curriculum district wide. She also has provided various professional development trainings and coaching to families and staff,” Brand wrote in a memo to the School Committee.

“Erin has experience working as a case management director/therapist for Solutions for Living to support students and at risk families. As a therapist, she works closely with the Department of Children and Families and supports students within the Arlington Public Schools. She has a strong skill set and background in mental health and provides evidence based services to students and family resource support,” noted Brand.

“These are two positions that reflect one of our most important set of priorities – responding to and being responsive of the needs of our students related to their social-emotional well-being,” added Brand. “These are two positions that are new to the district. They are supported by grant monies… We’re very excited for the promise they bring. It will take us a little bit of time to map out how best to utilize them and how they span the district to support our students and families. Their first task will be to dig into the data [of a recent social-emotional survey] and then prioritize where their efforts should be focused.”

“I think it’s a step in the right direction for us as a district. It’s sending the right message to the community and to families that, in Wilmington, we do value kids’ social-emotional learning,” said School Committee member Jay Samaha. “We’re putting our money where our mouths is. I really, really appreciate that.”

Superintendent Brand Would Like To See More Parent/Guardian Participation At Community Forums During Search Processes

Dr. Brand would later add that the district has struggled to attract community members to attend forums to meet candidates as part of various search processes.

“We continue to provide opportunities and invite members of the community to attend,” said Brand. “The feedback that is gathered is 100% absolutely reviewed. We don’t go through these motions and waste everyone’s time to say we checked a box. We’re being authentic in trying to gather feedback from stakeholders in the community.”

School Committee Chair Jennifer Bryson responded that holding the forums in the middle of the day make it difficult for working parents to attend.

“It’s 2pm. People are working. It’s too hard. It’s very difficult for some to log in at that hour. If it was recorded and then shared, people can watch it and then offer feedback,” Bryson said, who also added that some parents and guardians prefer to just watch and provide feedback, rather than be there live to ask questions, as it can be intimidating for some.

Brand agreed that daytime forums aren’t “ideal” and the district will continue to record forums and make them available to those who couldn’t join live.

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