New Swampscott principal ‘a perfect fit’

May 30, 2017

By GAYLA CAWLEY

SWAMPSCOTT — After a nearly two-month search, Hadley Elementary School has a new principal.

School Superintendent Pamela Angelakis has announced Ilana Bebchick as the new principal of the elementary school, effective July 1.

“Ms. Bebchick’s experience and successes as an instructional leader, collaborative approach, and diverse background make her a perfect fit for the Hadley School community,” Angelakis said in a statement. “I look forward to having her as a member of my leadership team and wish to welcome her to the Swampscott Public Schools.”

Bebchick is the former principal of Liberty Elementary School in Braintree and assistant head of school at The Meridian School in Seattle. She also has 14 years of experience from her time as a bilingual elementary classroom teacher in grades 1 to 3, a fourth grade classroom teacher, a field supervisor, and instructional coach, Angelakis said.

Bebchick has a bachelor’s from Tufts University and a master’s in education from Boston University.

“I am so excited and honored to be joining the Swampscott Public Schools as the principal of Hadley Elementary School, “ Bebchick reportedly told the superintendent. “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting district administrators and Hadley students, staff and parents during the interview process and look forward to starting in my new role this summer.”

Swampscott looks to fill Hadley needs

Bebchick could not be reached for comment.

A search committee, comprised of the director of curriculum and instruction, Clarke and Stanley School principals, and Hadley School teachers and parents, presented Bebchick as one of two finalists to Angelakis.

The vacancy was created after Stacy Phelan, Hadley’s principal for the past three years, announced her resignation in April after accepting the same position at Lowell Elementary School in Watertown.

Phelan cited the poor condition of the Hadley School building as one of her main reasons for leaving. She previously said that the building has been difficult to manage because of the maintenance. She said she wanted to focus on teaching and learning, and “while that is very much what we want here in Swampscott,” the building itself has taken her away from a lot of that work.

Following the resignation, Angelakis released a statement that “losing a principal of Stacy’s caliber with her many skills and talents is truly unfortunate” and that “our community needs to understand that our school district will continue to lose talented and skilled leaders who are passionate about educating our children if we do not tackle the issue of our significantly deficient elementary schools.”

School officials in Swampscott are actively trying to replace Hadley School, the oldest school building in town. Angelakis recently submitted two statements of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Hadley School was the primary submission, with the intent for replacement and a new building. The statement for the middle school was intended for renovation, school officials said.

Angelakis said the school district is working on a transition schedule with Phelan and Bebchick before the end of the school year, along with some parent coffees and/or meet and greets.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.