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Deppe, Hamel preparing to step in, effective on July 1


AYER — When Assistant Superintendent of Schools Brian McDermott and Page Hilltop School Principal Robert Ackerman leave for administrative jobs in other communities, the schools will lose two key contributors who have served the district well, said interim Superintendent of Schools George Frost.

But, he said, two well-qualified educators have been hired to take over.

Mary Beth Hamel has been appointed interim director of curriculum and instruction. Frederick Deppe will be the new elementary-school principal. The new administrators start July 1.

Deppe is currently assistant principal of Mountain View Middle School in Goffstown, N.H.

A graduate of Salem State College with a master’s degree from Rivier College, Deppe is described as an “involved administrator” and a “builder of a collegial learning environment” via his “open and welcoming” approach.

Deppe had a similar response to administrators and teachers in Ayer, he said, noting “the energy and passion for learning in the community.”

Hamel is being promoted from within, having taught in the Ayer public schools as a kindergarten-to-grade-six special educator for several years. A graduate of Fitchburg State College, she holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education. She also has a master’s degree in technology from Lesley College.

Asked why the prefix “interim” was tacked to her job title, Frost said it’s a hedge against uncertainty as tentative school district regionalization plans take shape. But even though the position can’t be guaranteed long term, Hamel’s two-year contract shows strong support for it and offers a measure of job security, he said.

William Plunkett will merge business office duties with the financial end of the former assistant administrator’s job, Frost said. Hamel will concentrate on the teaching and learning side, with added focus on professional development for staff and finding new ways to celebrate student accomplishments.