Melissa Earls has submitted her resignation from Southbridge Middle/High School effective June 30th, according to The Worcester Telegram.
Mrs. Earls said she has been hired as head of schools for Academy Hill School in Springfield, a pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 independent school for gifted and talented students. Its enrollment is approximately 107 students. Mrs. Earls said the head of schools there is leaving for a post at a similar but larger school in Virginia. "This place came after me. I didn’t send an application out," said Mrs. Earls, whose daughter, Emma, will graduate from Academy Hill School this year.
Asked whether the possibility of a state takeover of Southbridge schools made the decision easier, Mrs. Earls said, "I'm not naïve to what’s happening here. I believe there is a likelihood they could [place Southbridge as Level 5], which means they could remove me. It’s within the realm of what they’ve done during takeovers, is remove administration. The uncertainty, there’s a factor there."
Interim Superintendent Timothy P. Connors said he would start trying to find a replacement now. He said: "I think that we need to get out there as soon as we can. The receivership hasn’t happened yet. We certainly know that it’s something that the commissioner could decide to do, and if he did, we would work with him. But in the meantime, I’m going to work with the School Committee to see what we might do. We certainly won’t do anything before February, so that gives us time to see what the commissioner is doing. But I think that myself and the School Committee would like to move forward so we have somebody in place by July 1