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GROTON — In a statement presented to members of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee Tuesday night, Superintendent Joseph Mastrocola announced that he has appointed an interim principal for the high School.

In his statement, Mastrocola said he has appointed Stephen Dlott as temporary principal until a search process can be launched to find a permanent replacement for departed principal Shelley Marcus-Cohen.

According to Mastrocola’s statement, Dlott “has had extensive experience as both a high school principal and a superintendent of schools…and since retiring…has served as an interim superintendent in Hudson and an interim principal. His candidacy comes highly recommended by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and his experience and skill set is well suited to our immediate needs.”

Dlott has served as a consultant for the Department of Education and was principal of Arlington High School, Tahanto Regional High School, and Linwood High School in Lincoln, N.H. He was also superintendent for the Westborough school system before taking over in Hudson for the 2008-09 school year.

In being named interim principal, Dlott relieves Mastrocola, who had assumed the role briefly upon Cohen’s departure on Oct. 31.

Cohen announced her resignation a couple weeks ago, taking the community by surprise, saying that she was forced into making the decision for personal reasons, including an ailing spouse.

Cohen was hired in 2007 to replace Joseph Dillon. Before being hired by Groton-Dunstable, she was the principal of the New Bedford Learning Charter School and a senior research fellow at the University of Massachusetts.

Mastrocola said that Dlott was expected to take over as interim principal Thursday, when he was scheduled to meet with the school’s staff and students and otherwise familiarize himself with the high school.

Dlott will be aided by interim Assistant Principal Marisa Brisson, who had been a member of the school’s staff from 2003 to 2008.

The two will be joined by Richard Arena, currently senior project coordinator, who will serve as interim dean of students until the end of the year.

Arena replaces John Gould, who also tendered his resignation in order to take a new job in another school system.

Mastrocola told committee members that it was his plan to begin the search process for a permanent principal sometime in December, extending into February. During the process, the superintendent promised that input by the public will be sought and accepted.

Also, the School Committee:

* Heard from Mastrocola about a space plan for the district’s administrative offices, currently located in the former Prescott Elementary School. Committee members had asked the superintendent to conduct a study of the area being used at the building in order to better determine just how much space is actually required by the administration. Mastrocola’s findings included a report that 15 staff members took up at least 8,000 square feet of work space. In anticipation of possibly having to move the offices from the Prescott building in response to a continuing financial crunch, Mastrocola also included some cost analysis involved in moving the offices and potential locations where they could be moved. The superintendent, however, cautioned that expecting a move at this early date would be premature.

* Heard from Gerald Martin, director of business and finance, that he has begun to develop the district’s operating budget for fiscal 2012, a process that is expected to extend well into the new year.