Principal McAllister Leaving Chenery For Central Office [Video]

Photo: Mike McAllister.

Micheal McAllister, the popular principal of the Chenery Middle School, will be heading to the Belmont School District’s Central Office to become the director of the newly named Office of Human Capital.

Entering his 20th year in the Belmont Schools, McAllister has been the Chenery principal for the past four years after spending seven years as principal of the Butler Elementary School in the Waverley neighborhood. He began his career as a sixth-grade social studies teacher at the Chenery in 2000.

McAllister earned his BA from Northeastern and a master’s in education from Harvard. He lives with his family in his hometown of Bedford where he served on the School Committee for six years (2013-2019) and was Chair from 2015 until 2018.

“We will welcome Principal McAllister to his new role after we post and search for an interim principal to replace him for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year,” said Belmont District Superintendent John Phelan announcing the news on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The district will post for the permanent principal position for the Chenery that would start on July 1.

“I think that the district is about to undergo a lot of change, to be able to have a hand in helping steer that in a good direction is an amazing opportunity,” McAllister told the Belmontonian. He noted that bringing the new Belmont Middle and High School “online” in the next five years will require a great deal of time and effort on his part.

McAllister will handle the district’s human resources duties, including the recruitment and hiring staff and educators, negotiating contracts, benefits, professional development opportunities, retirement, and other related employment issues. 

After 20 years as a classroom teacher and a school leader, this will be McAllister’s first time working in the central office.

“When I saw the job description, one of the things that struck me was that I’ve done a lot of those duties already, so I think I can parlay the skills and experiences that I’ve had,” he said.

“I think the central office is really closely connected to the schools, and I think that I can help do that. I am one of those rare people that has experienced at the elementary, middle and high schools, and I have relationships at all those schools and I’m hoping that we can build on this,” McAllister said.

McAllister said it will be a major adjustment to go from daily managing hundreds of students and educators to an office on Pleasant Street.

“I get fired up by the interaction. I love being in a place where 1,500 people know me and I know 1,500 people, I love that, you know, so it’ll be a big, but it’s just a different type of leadership. You know, and I think that as a leader, you’re always trying to move into a place where you’re being challenged. And this is this will definitely be a challenge.”

Honored: Belmont’s Butler Picks Up Its Blue Ribbon Award

Photo: Principal Michael McAllister (left) with Abu Kumi, director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Belmont’s Daniel Butler Elementary School was formally honored in Washington D.C. after recently being named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School for Exemplary High Performance.

Butler is one among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor, and one of three Bay State schools recognized for this honor.

Former Butler Principal Michael McAllister, now the headmaster at Belmont’s Chenery Middle School represented Butler at the Nov. 8 ceremony.

“This award confirms what I’ve known all along, and now the public knows, that there is amazing teaching and learning happening at the Butler school,” says McAllister.

Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education, and are recognized in one of two performance categories; Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state; or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in the their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Current Butler Principal Danielle Betancourt says the honor is well-deserved.

“This achievement is a testament to the passion, strategic effort, education and teamwork that each person in the community contributes,” she said.

McAllister is coming back to the Butler with a plaque, a blue ribbon flag and a banner which will soon be presented to the Butler school community to display.

Butler’s Principal McAllister Named to Chenery’s Top Post

Photo: Mike McAllister. 

Daniel Butler Elementry Principal Michael McAllister is returning to the Chenery Middle School where he started his Belmont career as a fifth-grade teacher.

But this time, McAllister is coming back in September as the Chenery’s new principal.

“Principal McAllister was chosen from a field of very strong candidates who participated in a rigorous interview and selection process,” said Belmont School District Superintendent John Phelan. 

McAllister, a Bedford resident (who is on his town’s School Committee for the past three years), replaces Kristen St. George, who announced she would be leaving her position in March. He was a finalist for the Chenery position with Belmont High School Assistant Principal John Muldoon and Watertown Middle School Principal and Belmont resident Kimo Carter.

A Bedford native (as is his wife, Meg), he graduated from Bedford High School in 1995. He and his wife have two children. McAllister holds a B.A. in Political Science and English from Northeastern University and an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University.

McAllister was named principal of the Butler in 2009, having previously been the district’s social studies director and a teacher at the Chenery. 

“McAllister is a proven leader in the district, who brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience as an educator and leader. I am confident in his ability to advance the good work already happening at the Chenery and to work together with the Chenery staff,” said Phelan.