Saturday, July 20, 2024

The main entry to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in February 2022. (PhotoL Marc Levy)

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is keeping principal Damon Smith, as Arlington Public Schools selected another of three finalists to become deputy superintendent the town, according to a Thursday announcement by the district.

Members of the School Committee were so eager to hire Monakatellia “Mona” Ford Walker, a former principal of the Winship Elementary School in Boston who went to Revere Public Schools, that that they approved her contract before approving the appointment, the YourArlington news site reported.

Smith is in his 12th year as principal of CRLS, which follows work as dean of curriculum and program at the school. Before joining Cambridge Public Schools in 2004, he was assistant school director at Boston’s New Mission High School.The school has 1,880 students and 425 staffers, not including the High School Extension Program or special education staff, according to district information.

The other finalist for the Arlington job was Thad Dingman, longtime principal of the town’s Dallin Elementary School.

Both votes for Walker in Arlington were unanimous. She was recommended strongly by town superintendent Elizabeth Homan, who described to committee members a lengthy hiring process and posted online with a similar message. The choice was based on her assessment as to which of the three finalists had the strongest and most relevant skill set, she said, with Walker possessing a “deep knowledge of what is required” and showing herself to be “student- and equity-centered” with experience “complementary to mine.”

Smith is a Wesleyan University graduate, and he earned a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His mother and his father were public school educators in New York City. His wife is also an educator in the Cambridge Public Schools, and they live in Cambridge with their two sons.