Middle School Principal Finalists: Who They Are and How to Meet Them [updated}


Photo: istock

Source: ARPS Update

Update: Finalist Sean McNiff has withdrawn himself from consideration.  The search committee has brought forward another candidate, Gina Fasoli Figueroa, whose information is provided below.

The Middle School Principal Interview Committee recommended three candidates to be brought forward as finalists for the ARMS Principal position.  In order to provide families, staff and community members ample opportunities to meet each finalist, Amherst Regional Public Schools (ARPS) will host each of them individually for a full day of events at the Amherst Regional Middle School (ARMS) next week. The schedule for each day (with meet and greet opportunities highlighted in bold) will be:

  • 8:15 to 9:00 am:  Meet and Greet with Unit A Staff at ARMS Library
  • 9:15 to 10:15 am:  Interview with Superintendent Doug Slaughter
  • 10:30 to 1:15 pm:  Informal Tour with Administrator’s (including time to meet students during lunches in the cafeteria)
  • 1:15  to 2:15 pm:  Lunch Break
  • 2:15 to 3:15 pm:  Hybrid Meet and Greet #1 with Parents/Guardians at ARMS Library (Link meet.google.com/ccz-oajb-ufe )
  • 3:45 to 4:45 pm:  Meet and Greet with Unit B and Unit C Staff at ARMS Library (staff who attend will receive their hourly pay by noting “MS Principal Forum Attendance” in Veritime)
  • 4:45 to 5:30 pm:  Break
  • 5:30 to 6:30 pm:  Hybrid Meet and Greet #2 with Parents/Guardians at ARMS Library (Link meet.google.com/ccz-oajb-ufe)

And we are happy to introduce our finalists along with information about how and when to meet each of them in person. Please mark your calendars for all three days!

Date of ARMS Visit:  Tuesday, March 19
Hybrid Link:  All Parent/Guardian events link is  meet.google.com/ccz-oajb-ufe 

Lamikco Magee has been an educator for 20 years and has been a member of the Amherst Regional Middle School faculty for the last seven years. Currently serving as Dean of Students at ARMS, .Magee has served the students and worked with her colleagues at ARMS in several ways, including as a special education teacher, special education department head, and in the role of TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) during the 2022-2023 school year. Magee is passionate about students and education.  She has devoted much of her career toward creating an equitable environment for marginalized populations that promotes equal opportunity for those seeking to better themselves, with staff and students who embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Magee believes strongly in community service and civic engagement and serves as a member of the Belchertown School Committee and a councilor on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  

Magee holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Western New England University School of Law, a Master of Education in Moderate Disabilities from American International College, a Bachelor of Business Administration from American Intercontinental University, an Administrator Initial License from American International College, and is a United States Air Force veteran. She currently holds Massachusetts licenses in Moderate Disabilities (5-12), English (5-12), Endorsement Sheltered English Immersion (Teacher, Administrator) (All Levels), Special Education Administrator (All Levels), Principal/Assistant Principal (5-12), and Superintendent, (All Levels). 

SEAN MCNIFF (withdrawn)
Sean McNiff has been an educator for almost 25 years and has served in school administration for the last 16 years. He is currently Principal at Normandin Middle School in New Bedford, which is a grade 6-8 school serving approximately 1,200 students. Mr. McNiff has focused on community, instruction, and making systems work for students while creating opportunities for families to feel comfortable coming to school and ensuring that students feel a sense of belonging. This was accomplished, in part, by establishing a family engagement center and using a team approach to bridge school and home. McNiff led his school through the implementation of a plan of instructional changes, grade-based teaming, and expanded social-emotional support for all students, and the school is now leading the district in its commitment to inclusive practices for all students by developing tiered support within their schedule and expanding opportunities for students academically and in the arts. Additionally, McNiff led his Special Education department as they transitioned to a more inclusive program for all students, significantly decreasing the number of partial inclusion programs by providing the necessary supports for students within the co-taught environment. 

McNiff holds a Bachelors of Art in English from Fitchburg State College and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from New England School of Law. He currently holds Massachusetts licenses as Principal/Dean/Head of School, Assistant Principal/Dean/Head (K-12), Special Education Director and Superintendent, and Assistant/Deputy Superintendent (All Levels). 

Date of ARMS Visit:  Wednesday, March 20
Hybrid Link:  All Parent/Guardian events link is  meet.google.com/ccz-oajb-ufe 

Gina Fasoli Figueroa has been an educator for 19 years, and her administrative and teaching experience includes 19 years teaching English 6-12 and 11 years in administration. She has served as both an Assistant Principal and Principal at the elementary and secondary levels since 2013, with the majority of her experience in grades 4-8. From 2013-2015, she served as the building administrator at the Math/Science Academy, an elementary/secondary school for grades 4-7 that was designed under the MA Innovation model part of the Greenfield middle school. From 2015-2018, Fasoli was the Assistant Principal for grades 5-7 when they moved into the middle school building.

Fasoli holds a Bachelor of Science in English Education 7-12 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Education – Health Education Pk-12 from Springfield College, and a Doctor of Education Leadership from the University of Hartford. Fasoli currently holds Massachusetts licenses in Health Education (prek-12), English & Language Arts, Principal/Assistant Principal (K-12), Superintendent, Assistant/Deputy Superintendent (All Levels), and SEI Administrator.  

Date of ARMS Visit:  Thursday, March 21
Hybrid Link:  All Parent/Guardian events link is  meet.google.com/ccz-oajb-ufe 

Susan Gilson has held administrator roles in the King Philip Regional School District for the past 20 years, where she currently serves as Assistant Superintendent / Middle School Principal. Gilson appreciates how academics, social and emotional learning, technology, and fiscal resources come together to optimize results for students, teachers, and families. Experienced with navigating building construction while the school was fully operational, Gilson led a schedule redesign and implementation effort that resulted in significant program improvements and sustained multiple grades in the face of successive budgetary challenges. Throughout the process, she continued to use student performance data to evaluate needs and support decision-making for all school and district programs. Gilson takes pride in her work bringing in multi-millions of dollars in grants, making it possible to return funds to the district operating budget in support of educational programs and opportunities that are important to students. 

Gilson holds a Bachelor’s of Science with a Major in Engineering and Music Education from the University of Hartford, a Master of Arts in Education–Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut, a Certificate of Advanced Study of Education Major in Fine and Performing Arts from the University of Calgary, a Doctor of Philosophy in Cognition and Instruction from the University of Connecticut and completed Postgraduate Coursework in Executive Leadership Institutes from Harvard University. She currently holds Massachusetts licenses as Superintendent, Assistant/Deputy Superintendent, Principal/Dean/Head of School (All Levels), School Business/Finance Administrator (All Levels), Special Education Director (All Levels) and SEI Administrator. 

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