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Interim chief at Lincoln-Sudbury High named

The Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday morning to appoint former Wellesley superintendent Bella Wong as the high school’s interim superintendent/principal for one year.

Wong resigned from the Wellesley post last year amid public concern over the running of the school system’s business office.

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Her appointment in Lincoln-Sudbury is subject to successful completion of contract negotiations. The School Committee will undertake a search for a permanent superintendent/principal in the fall, when more candidates are expected to be available, officials said.

“Bella Wong is a good fit for L-S for many reasons, most notably her knowledge of L-S by virtue of her having been a teacher at the school, her understanding of key policy issues affecting public education, and her experience advocating for capital projects,’’ Nancy Marshall, the School Committee’s chairwoman, stated in an announcement on the board’s decision. “We look forward to working with her very much.’’

Wong is expected to begin July 1. The regional high school’s current superintendent, Scott Carpenter, announced in April that he had accepted a new job, as superintendent of the Monomoy Regional School District on Cape Cod, effective July 1.

A search committee narrowed the candidates for the interim position to three finalists. However, Edward Malvey, interim superintendent of Monson’s schools, dropped out after taking another job, leaving Wong and Herbert Levine, who had served as interim superintendent in Peabody, vying for the Lincoln-Sudbury role.

Wong left Wellesley after the district’s administration came under fire for uncollected lunch fees and a critical audit of the business office. The district had $169,000 worth of uncollected school lunch payments stretching from before the 2009-2010 school year.

The debt’s discovery in spring 2011 plunged the district into a year of turmoil in which Wong resigned, business manager Ruth Quinn Berdell was terminated, and Berdell filed a lawsuit against Wong and the School Committee’s chairwoman at the time, Suzy Littlefield, accusing them of conspiracy and defamation.

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at jflefferts@yahoo.com.
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