Shrewsbury’s Oak Middle School principal to retire, prompting search

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Shrewsbury’s Oak Middle School principal to retire, prompting search
Oak Middle School is located at 45 Oak Street in Shrewsbury. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury is searching for a new principal for Oak Middle School.

This process comes after Superintendent Joseph Sawyer announced on Wednesday that the school’s current principal, Ann Jones, plans to retire at the end of this current school year.

Principal’s career spans decades

Jones joined the Shrewsbury Public Schools as a sixth grade social studies teacher in 1995 before she was tapped to become the middle school social studies curriculum coordinator in 2004, according to a biography published by Patch in 2012.

Jones became the assistant principal of Sherwood Middle School in 2006. Five years after that, in 2011, she was made the interim principal of Oak — a move that was made permanent the following year. 

Jones has led the Shrewsbury Public Schools’ summer enrichment program and spearheaded an anti-bullying initiative at Sherwood Middle School. 

Jones was unavailable for comment for this article as of publication. 



Three finalists named

Jones announced her intention to retire to colleagues in the schools a couple of months ago. 

That kicked off a process to select her replacement.

“We have had a successful process so far,” Sawyer said during a School Committee meeting this week. “Although, as anyone who’s in any sector trying to do hiring right now [knows], it is a challenging environment to be hiring.”

While the pool of candidates wasn’t as large as it would be in typical times, Sawyer said there are three finalists for the position. 

The finalists include Liz Garden, who is the principal of Mayo Elementary School in Holden; Assistant Principal Hallie Burak of O’Donnell Middle School in Stoughton and Elizabeth York, who is the principal of David Prouty High School in Spencer. 

Garden visited Oak on Feb. 2. The others planned to visit in the coming days. 

There will be a public forum featuring each of these finalists on Feb. 8 at Oak Middle School at 6 p.m. Each of the finalists will make a presentation and answer questions.

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