Photo: Karla Koza at the topping off celebration of the new middle school section of the Belmont Middle and High School.
With the one-year countdown is underway for the opening of the new Middle School on Concord Avenue and the transformation of the Chenery into a town-wide 4-6 grade elementary school, there has been some major shuffling going on at the Middle School on Washington Street this summer.
In a series of press releases from the Belmont School District, Karla Koza has moved from being principal of the 5-8 grade school and is the working as director of the newly-created District Configuration Transition post effective Sept. 1. Koza was the Principal at the Chenery for the past two years.
The purpose of this one-year position was to dedicate a single “point person” to focus all of their time and attention on leading the evolution of a 9-12 Belmont High School building to a 7-12 Belmont Middle and High School building by September, 2023.
Koza experience and expertise in Grades 7-12, especially, will serve her well as she works to ensure that all stakeholders involved with the district reconfiguration feel supported and successful. Having already built strong relationships with many in our school community, she represents a trusted point of contact. She is a valued member of our leadership council and we have confidence that she will be successful in this new capacity.
In proposing this role, the district said it emphasized the importance of:
- Taking input from stakeholders
- Focusing on timelines, scheduling, and logistics
- Handling all public communication
Koza joined the Belmont Public Schools in 2020. Prior to her Chenery principalship she was an educator in the Grafton Public Schools, working as a classroom teacher (15 years), English Department Head (6 years) and Assistant Principal (5 years), from 2003-2020. She also underwent a similar transition into a new building in that role, which she spoke about passionately during her interview.
“Her experience and expertise in Grades 7-12, especially, will serve her well as she works to ensure that all stakeholders involved with the district reconfiguration feel supported and successful. Having already built strong relationships with many in our school community, she represents a trusted point of contact,” said the release.
Taking Koza’s place, Chenery’s former assistant principal Nicolette Foundas has been named the Interim 5-8 Chenery Middle School Principal for the 2022-2023 school year which is the final year for the Chenery as a middle school. The one-year appointment began effective Aug. 8. But Foundas will not need to clear out her desk when the one-year appointment ends as she was named the future Principal of the Chenery Upper Elementary School, Grades 4-6, which will start in the 2023-2024 year beginning next September.
Foundas began her career in public education as a Grade 4 classroom teacher in Hartford. She joined the Belmont Public Schools 2008 and has served as a Grade 5 classroom teacher for 10 years and as a member of our leadership team overseeing encore programming and Grades 5 and 6 for the last four years.
Foundas’ prior experience in a similar interim capacity as the Chenery Principal in May and June of 2020, will serve her well as she works to ensure stability for students, family, and staff through this period of transition.
“We have seen her work up close as a member of our own leadership council and have confidence that she will continue to thrive in this new role,” according to the release.
And the school district will soon be seeking the first leader of the new 7-8 middle school in the Concord Avenue facility.
In January, 2023, the district will post for a permanent principal for a July 1, 2023 start. The hiring for that position will follow our traditional process, including a screening team made up of teachers and parents/guardians, public interviews, and community input.