New principal named for Center School

Jun 7, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — Linda Ashley has been selected to be the new principal of Center School, Superintendent Michael S. Nelson has announced,

She replaces Rose Bowman, who is retiring effective July 1.

Ashley will be the full-time principal of Center School as a result of the principalship restructuring of the Old Hammondtown and Center schools. Each school will have its own principal, with no assistant principal.

Kevin Tavares will be the principal of Old Hammondtown Elementary School.

"I am honored and delighted to be selected as the new principal of Center School and to join this wonderful school community," Ashley said. "During my interviews and site visit, I learned that Center School is a special child-centered learning environment with wonderful students, talented teachers, caring families and supportive community members. I am excited to get to know each Center School community member and build strong partnerships as we set goals for the future and begin our important work together."

Ashley has worked in the Franklin Public Schools for close to 10 years. She served as an elementary school principal for nine of those years and most recently was the pre-K-12 curriculum director for English Language Arts and history/social studies.

She also previously served as an elementary principal and pre-K-5 curriculum director in the Milford Public Schools, an elementary principal in the Norton Public Schools, a special education teacher in the Hopkinton Public Schools and a teacher for grades 3-4 in Lincoln. She began her career as a third grade classroom teacher in New Jersey.

"Dr. Ashley has considerable experience in elementary teaching, administration and leadership, and has shown a commitment to collaborating with staff and families to support our youngest learners and help them to grow and succeed," Nelson said. "Her past roles and accomplishments have demonstrated her dedication to student achievement and to meeting the needs of educators by fostering an environment where staff are encouraged to continuously grow and learn."

Ashley holds a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Northeastern University, a master’s degree of education in moderate special needs from Lesley University and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Ashley to the Mattapoisett schools, and I look forward to working with her," said Tavares. "She shares our dedication to providing high-quality education and social-emotional development for our students and will be a valuable addition to our elementary leadership team."

Ashley was selected following a thorough search process that included multiple interviews, reference checks, a site visit to the Franklin Public Schools and a site visit at Center School. The hiring committee included school committee members, administrators, teachers, support staff and parents.