Harmon Named Assistant Superintendent

Harmon Named Assistant Superintendent

Photo by Emma Gauthier

Emma Gauthier, Staff Writer

Math curriculum coordinator Kristen Harmon has been named Barnstable Public Schools’ new assistant superintendent. Her predecessor, Marie McKay, will retire in July.

Harmon has worked in the school district for 20 years, first as a math teacher, then as the math department head, and then as curriculum coordinator, a position she has held for eight years.

After attending an educational leadership program through the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association, Harmon earned her superintendent/assistant superintendent license and “felt it was time to consider” the new position.

According to Marie McKay, she is responsible for the “development and implementation of curriculum, ensuring high quality and effective instruction, and oversight of district assessments,” amongst various other duties, like coordinating professional development programs for staff, serving as the Title I director,

and overseeing the New Teacher Induction and Mentor Program, said McKay.

She will also be instrumental in helping make the shift from MCAS testing to the new PARCC assessment system.

Harmon said her new job will be similar to her current one “but in a much broader scope.”

While this may seem like a large job, Harmon feels well prepared for the new role. She likes numbers, which will make working with data easier, and her experience teaching an MCAS tested subject will help her develop curriculum for other subjects, she said.

Out of more than 40 applicants, Harmon was chosen by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowski for the job.

“She has a very strong background in curriculum development, instruction, and assessments, and is very invested in the district. [She] brings a lot to the table, and is well respected by her colleagues and students,” said Czajkowski. “I am really looking forward to working with Mrs. Harmon…I am excited about her joining the central leadership team.”

Harmon was scheduled to be officially appointed to the position by the School Committee  on Tuesday, April 15, after Insight’s press deadline. Czajkowski was “confident the vote [would] be unanimous.”

While she is excited and looking forward to the change, Harmon said she will miss the community of students and colleagues she has been a part of in her current position. She would like to thank everyone for their “incredible support.”

Harmon said her greatest challenge will be “the unknown. There’s a whole other layer of things I don’t know, and it’s a huge learning curve. But that’s okay. You want to learn.”

In addition to Harmon’s promotion, current Barnstable Intermediate School Vice Principal James Anderson has been named BIS Principal for next year.