Hampton Academy Welcomes New Principal

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Editor, 21 Voices

Atlantic News, Friday, August 17, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

A new face will join a familiar one on the first day of school as Hampton Academy welcomes Principal Chris Sousa and Assistant Principal Kathy Hancock to its administrative team.

HAMPTON -- Sousa, who is originally from Rhode Island, made the move to the Seacoast area after eight years in Vermont, where he served as a middle school assistant principal in Colchester and a middle-high school principal in Proctor.

He has been in the education field for 17 years, having earned a degree in business and management from St. Joseph College in Vermont and his masters degree in education from Plymouth State University.

Sousa calls his former Vermont hometown "a great little community" and says he gets "the same feeling in Hampton. It’s the same family community. That’s really nice. It has that wonderful spirit you see in a small town."

Hancock, who earned her masters degree in education from Cambridge University, is returning to Hampton Academy, where she taught for 10 years prior to leaving for an assistant principal position in Pelham in 1995.

From there she served as principal in Pembroke and Nottingham schools, and as the director of curriculum for one year at Sanborn Regional and at HA starting last fall.

"I’m very excited to be returning [as an administrator]," says Hancock, making the move from curriculum director (a position that was no longer available at HA) to assistant principal.

Sousa was hired by the Hampton School District in late March/ early April, when the position was made available with the retirement of former HA Principal, Fred Muscara. He is relocating to the area with his wife Colleen and their two children.

Hancock was offered the role of assistant principal in late spring after Sousa had been hired, and says "I feel like a have a leg-up" because of her previous position at HA. "I know the teachers, I know the vast majority of the students. My 'learning curve’ isn’t quite as steep."

For his part, Sousa admits he needs "to get my feet firmly planted here" as he gets established in his new administrative role. "I just want to get to know everybody," he says. "I’d like to see us continue doing the good work we’re doing. I don’t have to go far to see what’s good here."

Hancock, who has taught at the elementary school level, looks forward to a long tenure in the middle school arena.

"I told my husband I’m not changing jobs again!" she says. "I love the middle level and that’s where I’d like to stay."

Sousa gives high marks to the Hampton School Board as well as his SAU21 colleagues at Marston and Centre Schools. He anticipates that his partnership with Hancock "is going to be a good complement to my administrative style, and I hope I’m as good a complement to hers."

He adds he’s "looking forward to working with the new administrative team" at HA. And, confirming that he is eager to continue the tradition of ringing the Hampton Academy bell on August 28, Sousa says "I just love the first day of school. I’m excited about seeing the kids and the teachers."

Both Hancock and Sousa are looking forward to a fruitful school year at Hampton Academy, and appear to agree that things are already off to a good start.

"I’ve met a lot of wonderful people so far," says Sousa. "I’ve been very pleased with how I’ve been received."

"It’s a wonderful school and a wonderful community to work in," says Hancock. "I enjoy it."

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