Principal of Lincoln Middle School steps down

Principal of Lincoln Middle School steps down

“As a lifelong resident of Lincoln, I am embarrassed, as this isn’t normal.” - John Picozzi

LINCOLN – Lincoln Middle School Principal Adolfo Costa resigned on Monday, less than six months after starting in the position.

Costa is the third principal at Lincoln Middle School in the past four years. His resignation takes effect at the end of the month.

Costa left his position as an assistant principal at Cumberland High School last year to become the principal at LMS in July. He will take a teaching job at William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School.

“I will always appreciate the opportunity I was given to lead in this district, and this decision, while difficult, will be good for my family moving forward,” said Costa in an email.

School Supt. Georgia Fortunato received a letter of resignation Monday morning. An email was sent out to the School Committee late Monday morning, and another email was sent to the families and community of LMS in the early afternoon.

School Committee member John Picozzi said he is concerned with the number of principals the middle school has gone through in the last few years. Mark Thompson worked as the principal for five years and was replaced by Heidi Godowski, who worked at the school for two years, preceding Costa.

“I hope everyone on the committee realizes the revolving door of principals at LMS is embarrassing, not a joke and takes this resignation very seriously,” Picozzi told The Breeze. “As a lifelong resident of Lincoln, I am embarrassed, as this isn’t normal.”

Members of the Lincoln School Committee are puzzled by the sudden resignation, said Joe Goho, vice chairman of the school board. During his interview process, Costa received positive recommendations and feedback from Cumberland school officials and he was eager to get to work, he said.

“We as a School Committee have to take a step back and try to look at the entire organization of Lincoln Middle School and try to figure out what might have gone wrong and how we best support the students, families and faculty and staff at Lincoln Middle School,” he said.

Since it is halfway through the school year, Goho said he thinks the school board may bring in a substitute principal to fill the role until June. It may be a challenge to find someone to hire as the principal, especially since those who wish to apply may have jobs in other school departments that they don’t want to leave midway through the year, he said.

“Not only in the short term, but now, we’ve had quite a bit of change at Lincoln Middle School, so we have to look at the overall organization of the middle school and say, What do we need to do to find some stability for the long term?” he said.

Aside from being on the Lincoln School Committee, Goho has worked as the principal of North Providence High School for almost 20 years. Administrative roles can be a lot of work, said the veteran educator, so he understands that Costa may not have thought it was his best fit.

“As a fellow administrator myself, I’m going on my 20th year, I can say that administration is a very demanding and difficult and challenging job,” Goho said. “It has to be a good fit for the person in terms of all of the factors and dynamics that go into play.”

Fortunato said the faculty and staff wish Costa the best.

More discussion and planning for his replacement will take place at the the next School Committee meeting, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at LMS.

Comments

The problem each one of these principals has is they are not really the ones running the school. Once they realize that a few of the teachers are really pulling all the strings, they want out. Much the way the Saylesville Elementary principals would jump ship when Saylesville used to have a sixth grade. Pretty sure not much will change, though, as one of the main culprits has a pretty close ally on the School Committee.

You're too nice but I do like it. I can see your point but we know what the problem was. He had no issues at Cumberland, great references, great history there, was so excited to work here and he is very articulate which was evident in his interview. We know he got overwhelmed because of the constant nagging, phone calls, and all the Committees he was assigned to. All nonsense which took him away from his true responsibilities at LMS. After he sought help and was honest about his situation it was all over. Overall, he was setup for failure! And in the end, he wasn't provided help, mentoring, or any kind of plan to succeed. I stand firm on the embarrassment. As a Committee member, I am even more concerned on how well our School District can be successful moving forward. I feel for the parents, teachers, and students with what is going on at LMS because it isn’t only with the revolving door of Principals, it is much deeper than that. We requested to meet with him at this upcoming School Committee meeting as well to get to the root of the issues and offer resources to make him successful and we were railroaded there too.

I’ve been on the Committee for a year, provided much insight, much advice, effectively and compassionately listened. I did all the good things a Leader, Boss, and Advocate should do. It was all on deaf ears. I can’t sit here and sugarcoat it, I am more than ready for change.

This is exactly what the people of Lincoln deserve. For years the School Committee and other officials in the town turned a blind eye to a hostile work environment. They aided and allowed a toxic condition to continue. Congratulations you got what you deserved.

Residents want to know what is going on in Lincoln school department? Is it the Superintendent, teacher’s union issues, lack of good choices for position? After Mr. Macksoud left, LMS fell apart. Tenreiro was offered the job, but wouldn’t accept. Wonder what he knew? Now, many Principals later we can’t find one willing to put up with the micromanaging. Stress leaves? Speaks volumes doesn’t it? I hear the SC wanted to bring Mr. Macksoud back and the Superintendent went ballistic. She knows she can’t control him. My children attended LMS with him, and he ran it like a private school. I hear discipline is out of control, and hiring someone with no experience in Lincoln Schools and it’s leadership will only lead to the same result. I hope Mr. Picozzi can find out what is really happening, because more and more parents are pulling their kids out of Lincoln Schools. What a shame! Parents keep your eyes and ears open to all that is happening in the halls of our once revered Schools.