Bridget Gough Accepts Role as the New Superintendent

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Bridget Gough Accepts Role as the New Superintendent

Dr. Bridget Gough stands with students in the Walpole High main lobby under the school mission statement.

Dr. Bridget Gough stands with students in the Walpole High main lobby under the school mission statement.

Dr. Bridget Gough stands with students in the Walpole High main lobby under the school mission statement.

Dr. Bridget Gough stands with students in the Walpole High main lobby under the school mission statement.

Caitlin Kahaly, News Editor

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Current Assistant Superintendent Bridget Gough has been selected by the Walpole School Committee to be the next official Superintendent of the Walpole Public Schools (WPS). Gough will be replacing her predecessor, Superintendent Lincoln Lynch,  who will be retiring in July after being in office for the past 12 years.

Gough has been involved in the Walpole School Systems since 1992, starting with teaching English and social studies at Bird Middle School for 10 years. Following her teaching position, Gough became assistant principal of BMS for five years and principal for 11 years before being appointed assistant superintendent following Jean Kenney’s retirement. Prior to her 26 years in the WPS, Gough grew up in Walpole and attended Walpole schools throughout her secondary education before pursuing her collegiate degrees.

“[Gough] is professional and caring, as well as highly qualified. She has positioned herself through her advanced degrees, which have shown her integrity and a passion for education,” Lynch said.

Gough’s current role as assistant superintendent is primarily to provide leadership in curriculum development, guide staff members to promote student learning and growth and collaborate with a variety of organizations to improve the district’s knowledge and resources. Gough’s newest focus is centered around the progression of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Grant Eligibility Period that WPS was recently accepted into last month. WPS hopes to partner with the MSBA to address the educational space needs present in many of the the community’s public schools.

“My position will be to work with the Walpole School Committee, town administrator and various stakeholders in order to carefully follow the MSBA process and make sure we as a district achieve the phases and steps we are supposed to achieve,” Gough said.

Gough attended a series of interviews ranging from staff members, students, parents and teachers as a part of her efforts in becoming the next superintendent. A final and formal televised public interview with Gough was conducted by the School Committee on Nov. 26 shortly after she was officially chosen for the position.

“I am impressed with the high level of collaboration and interdependence from the students to the teachers, families, administrators, community members,” Gough said. “The decisions we make need to be in the best interest of the students to improve their experience and outcomes. We need to continue that collaboration and communication.”

In terms of Gough’s new responsibilities as superintendent, she plans to continue providing the utmost opportunities for students and establishing a culture of 21st century skills:  collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. She will also continue to address social-emotional learning to provide a comfortable and inclusive environment for all students.

“It’s my job to set a climate of professional growth and inspire educators to have high expectations for student growth and to support them through professional development,” Gough said. “I want to establish a culture of community because we all play an active role in working collectively to optimize each students’ potential. I really focus on having students feel a sense of belonging, having meaningful relationships and supporting their mental health.”

With regards to Lynch’s retirement, his years of hard work in the WPS will be carried over and exemplified with Gough’s immersion into her new position.

“We’ve worked very hard to maintain a high performing school district, and I feel very comfortable leaving it in the hands of [Gough,]” Lynch said.