By ADAM SWIFT
PEABODY – A familiar face is returning to the South School as its new principal.
Mark Higgins, a former South School assistant principal who has been principal at the Witchcraft Heights Elementary School in Salem for the past decade, has been named to replace Monique Nappi at the South School.
Nappi is retiring effective June 30, and Higgins will take the reins on July 1.
“Dr. Higgins brings a wealth of educational and leadership experience to this position, as he has been a very successful principal in Salem for the past 13 years and recently earned his doctoral degree as well,” interim superintendent Herb Levine stated in a letter to the school committee. “I know Dr. Higgins to be a wonderful human being, someone who loves kids and has superb interpersonal skills as well. I am certain that Dr. Higgins will be a great fit for the terrific South School community.”
Levine said Higgins was the one finalist moved forward by a screening committee of parents, teachers, and school administrators and community members. Levine said he and Higgins were able to quickly agree on a contract.
Higgins is a Peabody resident, and said he is happy to be coming back to the community where he lives and his three children go to school.
“It’s nice to come back and to not be a stranger,” said Higgins. He said that while he does know a number of people in Peabody, he is looking forward to meeting the new students and families of the South School community.
While Higgins said he is happy to return to Peabody, he appreciated the years he spent in Salem.
“I went to Salem 13 years ago from the South School,” he said. “I loved my time there, and Salem was my hometown, so it worked out great.”
There will be a meet and greet with Higgins for members of the South School community at the school on Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.
“I hope that as many of the South School community as possible will be able to join us in welcoming Dr. Higgins to the Peabody Public Schools,” Levine said.