This post was written by summer intern Michael O’Neill.
Melrose Public Schools has a new Interim Director of Finance and Administrative Affairs, but she’s a familiar face: Former Melrose High School Principal Marianne Farrell.
Farrell began her tenure in her new position on July 1. As her title suggests, she will play a leading role in the financial and administrative operations of the entire school district, and she will work closely with the district’s staff and administrators. Farrell describes her main responsibility as “looking at how all the pieces in the district work together and finding ways for us to support the schools.”
Before taking her new position, Farrell served as principal of the high school for four years and as assistant principal for 13 years, making this her 18th year working for the Melrose school system. She also spent time as a math teacher and assistant principal at other high schools before coming to Melrose. “From the very beginning I knew I wanted to be an educator,” she says. When asked about making the jump from teaching to administration, she talks about wanting to make a bigger impact at schools: “In every role that I’ve had, I’ve always seen that there’s more I could be doing. So I’ve always tried to go up to that next level.”
Farrell believes her familiarity with administrative work and with the Melrose school system will be key to her transition into this new role. “My past experience in the schools and in this community helps me really get right into the job, as opposed to having to learn who the people are and how things are done. I can hit the ground running,” she says. Farrell has completed training with the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials for the position.
Farrell plans on using those tools to help achieve some of her goals this school year. “I’d like to review some of our policies, some of our procedures, some of our practices, so that we can streamline them a little bit and make them more efficient,” she mentioned, adding, “With the use of technology, I think maybe we can do some things differently so that turnaround times are quicker.”
Moreover, Farrell feels well prepared to take on whatever the position may demand of her: “I’m up to the challenge,” she says. “I’m really excited to be taking on this new role, and I hope that the work that I do here will continue to support all of the good things that are being done in the district.”