The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 30, 2010

Doyle reflects on her six years in Carlisle

Carlisle Superintendent Marie Doyle will be moving to Longmeadow, Massachusetts this July to join the Longmeadow School District as Superintendent of Schools. She announced her resignation from the Carlisle School in November, effective June 30. The Longmeadow district, with its approximately 3,100 students in three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school, is a jump from the 700 students at Carlisle School. The Mosquito asked her what she will take from her experience in Carlisle to assist her in her challenging position.

Doyle came to Carlisle in 2004 after serving as principal of Newton’s Bigelow Middle School for nine years. Prior to that, she worked as a curriculum specialist in Foxborough and taught grades five through eight in Belmont and Lowell.


Marie Doyle (Photo by Cynthia Sorn)

Longmeadow was looking for a superintendent with curriculum development experience, she said. Doyle is proud of the “strong curriculum review process” that she has put in place at the Carlisle School over the last six years.

Longmeadow also wanted a leader who can manage the budget. “Five or ten years ago most superintendents were only supposed to have business experience,” she said, adding that most superintendents and principals back then were men. “When I was a principal in Newton, I went to a conference and there were only five females out of 300 principals.” She said her experience with the Carlisle School budget has given her insights into managing expenses during difficult times.

Longmeadow also wanted a superintendent who would “sustain and integrate” the school’s technology, Doyle said, observing that a superintendent needs to know how to fund the growth and replacement of technology. They also need to know how to make it fun, she added. Technology in Carlisle has been very practical or “classroom focused,” she explained, with tools such as electronic whiteboards and computer carts. In Longmeadow, “they have a fabulous technology director,” she said. “I hope to expand their technology room.”

Doyle has “learned patience” while in Carlisle and plans to employ it in her new position. “Change can’t happen overnight,” she said. “In the first 90 days I plan to listen, listen and listen.” She said she wants to take time to learn the school culture. “I want to know what they like now and what their hopes are for the future.” Doyle said she is proud of the Carlisle School’s focus on anti-bullying education and on the student leadership projects. She intends to carry those experiences with her to her new position.

“The big challenge for the Carlisle School,” Doyle noted, “is controlling the budget” including the “costs of special education, while supporting inclusion. Also, someone has to oversee the school construction.” She said the building project is one of her most significant contributions to the Carlisle School. “I started working on that from day one,” she added.

Doyle is planning to move closer to her new school district. “Longmeadow is a beautiful area,” she said, “with beautiful brick houses.” She said she will miss Carlisle. “I will be leaving many dear friends behind. I will miss the small community and the K-8 structure. I will especially miss the little ones.” She said she has enjoyed being near the kindergarten and first grade classes. She added that Carlisle’s woodsy location makes it “a wonderful town for education,” including science projects. “It’s the best kept secret in the state,” she added.

The staff will hold a farewell party for Doyle on June 4. The Carlisle School Association will host an afternoon party for Doyle and for retiring teacher Al Ticotsky on May 27. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito