Sousa Resigns as Academy Principal

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By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, April 17, 2009

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- In the midst of a major restructuring at Hampton Academy, the school's Principal Christopher Sousa has announced this week that he will not be returning next year.

Sousa handed in his letter of resignation to school officials the night of Tuesday, April 14, just prior to a special School Board meeting held to discuss the changes proposed at the Academy. His last day will be June 30.

"I regret to inform you that I'm resigning from my position as principal at Hampton Academy," Sousa stated in his letter to the Hampton School Board. "Thank you for support and opportunity you provided to me over the last two years.

"At this time I'm compelled to seek out new challenges as I have done what I could to progress the education of Hampton students," the principal wrote. "I feel it's time to move on."

Sousa's resignation comes on the heels of the board's decision to restructure Hampton Academy. The board decided to drop the middle school philosophy and revert back to a junior high school model.

A traditional junior high is a high school for younger kids focused on core curriculum, while a middle school, which the board adopted in 2005, is more exploratory and takes into account the social, emotional and academic needs of younger teenagers.

As part of the restructuring plan, the board eliminated consumer science and technology education, as well as seven teaching position. Whether the restructuring played a role in Sousa's decision to resign, is not known.

Sousa did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

School officials refused to comment about Sousa's resignation, but announced that night as part of the proposed restructuring plan, Marston Principal Dave O'Connor will be the new principal at the Academy.

Lois Costa will be promoted from vice principal to principal at Marston, while Karen Reynolds will be the part-time assistant administrator at the school.

Sousa was hired as principal in 2007 to replace Fred Muscara. At the time, school officials noted that one of the reasons he was hired was for his experience in implementing the middle-school philosophy.

Prior to coming to Hampton, Sousa was principal of Proctor Junior/Senior High School in Vermont.

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