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Change comes to Leverett Elementary

LEVERETT — It’s a time of change for the decision-makers at Leverett Elementary School, with the retirement of long-time Principal Anne Ross, the election of two new people to the School Committee and the election of new leadership for the committee.

There also will be a new representative to the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee.

The newcomers to the local school board, Jennifer Chylak and Allan Mully, were elected without contest May 3, and replace outgoing chairwoman Catherine Brooks and member Fenna Lee Bonsignore. Kip Fonsh will take over for Brooks as the committee’s chairman. Fonsh, who has been Leverett’s representative to the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee for the past three years — two as chairman, will be replaced by Sarah Dolven on the regional committee.

Ross, who has been principal of Leverett Elementary School for 14 years, will retire at the end of the school year.

“Everything has been memorable, but I think it’s time to move on and do something different,” she said. “The staff and the kids, they’re all really top-notch and have been fun to work with.”

Before her time at Leverett Elementary, Ross worked as a teacher and an administrator in a number of international schools in Brazil, Japan and the Czech Republic.

“Anne was great. She was well-respected and hardworking,” said Union 28 School District Superintendent Robert Mahler. “She was able to help the school navigate the changes that came down from the Department of Education, and she helped to create a positive relationship with the community, which is crucial to being a principal in a small town like Leverett.”

Mahler said a search for her replacement will begin soon.

Fonsh said that he is sorry to see Ross go, but understands her decision.

“She has dedicated four decades of her life to the education of children,” he said. “I’m disappointed to see her go, but change is the norm. We’re going to need to select someone who can fill those very large shoes.”

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