Town reacts to MHS principal leaving: ‘Big, big shoes to fill’

Reaction is pouring in to news that Marblehead High School Principal Dan Bauer is leaving this summer to take a job as superintendent of schools in Danvers. 

“The next person coming in has big, big shoes to fill,” Melissa Kaplowitch, president of the MHS Parent Council Organization, told the Marblehead Current. Kaplowitch was on the hiring committee that brought Bauer to Marblehead in 2016. 

“Dan came into Marblehead when the community was very disjointed,” she said. “He was able to connect to the students, parents, community members and other administrators and really bring us back to together.” 

Kaplowitch pointed to several of Bauer’s accomplishments at MHS, including his vocal support of Team Harmony and the World of Difference program. Team Harmony is a student club that promotes diversity, and World of Difference is a school program from the Anti-Defamation League that teaches students and school leaders how to identify and call out bias.

“He initiated Magic Block this last year,” Kaplowitch added, “which promoted student choice and voice in their time on learning.”

Dan Bauer

Marblehead Superintendent John Buckey told the Current that he’s happy for Bauer.

“He has been looking for the right opportunity to pursue his aspirations to become a superintendent and has worked hard to take this next step in his career. I cannot overstate how much Dan has done for the high school, our district and the Marblehead community,” Buckey said. “Personally, I am delighted that Dan and I will have the opportunity to remain colleagues as fellow North Shore superintendents.”

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox is also happy for Bauer, and sad to see him go. He’s had a big impact here in town, she said.

“Dan is beloved and respected by the entire community. He is kind and fair and an excellent role model for students,” Fox wrote in an email. “Dan always conducts himself with professionalism and integrity and he not only expects it from his students, he models daily for them how to be good people who contribute to whatever community they are part of.

“Anyone who has ever attended a school event or walked through the halls of MHS can clearly see the rapport Dan has with students,” Fox continued. “When kids feel connected to their leaders they accomplish and grow more. Dan Bauer has had a very big positive impact on thousands of students in his time here, parents see that and are grateful for it.”

Marblehead social media pages are also filled with posts singing Bauer’s praises. 

Search process

Bauer will continue working at MHS through July. 

“We are fortunate that Dan will remain in his position for the remainder of this school year, giving us ample time to hire his successor,” Buckey said. “We have a solid and very effective search process in place, which has yielded us several tremendous leaders over the last few years.”

Buckey added, “I am confident that we will use this proven process and convene a representative group of parents, students, staff and district leaders to help us recruit and hire the next principal of Marblehead High School.”

Fox expressed hope that the community will play a large role in choosing the next MHS principal.

“In the past, Marblehead has undertaken a community approach to principal selection which captured a cross section of community input,” she said.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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