It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal.
The Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Committee hired Superintendent/Principal Bella Wong with the understanding she wouldn't reapply after her term ended on June 30, 2014..
On Oct. 1, the Committee decided to change its stance when it voted unanimously to extend Wong's contract through the 2014-2015 academic year.
According to the Committee in a statement, the decision was made "in order to provide continuity of leadership during a period in which many administrators at the high school are new to their roles and several important initiatives are being implemented."
Wong joined Lincoln-Sudbury in July as Interim Superintendent/Principal following five years as Superintendent and six years as Assistant Superintendent in the Wellesley Public Schools.
"We are pleased to have extended Bella's contract for an additional year in order to provide stable leadership at an important time," said Radha Gargeya, Chair of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee. "She has worked very hard since arriving at Lincoln-Sudbury in July to understand the high school and its values, build strong relationships with veteran faculty and staff, and integrate new members of the school community effectively. By extending her contract, we expect to reap the benefits of this work for the benefit of our students."
That leadership came under scrutiny in September when the school failed to hold a moment of silence on Sept. 11 to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks.
According to the Committee, Wong has agreed not to seek positions with other districts during the 2013-2014 school year.
"The School Committee's decision to extend Ms. Wong's contract followed consultation with Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC)," the Committee said in a statement. "With over 30 Massachusetts communities currently seeking school superintendents and retirements depleting the ranks of experienced candidates, MASC is encouraging school districts to evaluate internal candidates in order to retain stability in leadership wherever possible. The School Committee plans to re-evaluate its strategy for hiring a permanent Superintendent-Principal at the end of the current academic year, with input from the community, based on the circumstances existing at that time."
According to the Committee, Wong will have leadership responsibility for several important initiatives over the next academic year, including implementation of the new statewide educator evaluation process and oversight over evolving student assessment standards. She is also expected to play an important role in promoting student achievement and fiscal responsibility during collective bargaining negotiations scheduled to begin in 2014.
"Ms. Wong's continued leadership will help ensure that these improvements are geared towards student learning," the Committee said.