Matthew Janger Janger

UPDATED, March 19: For the second time in a month, Arlington High School Principal Matthew Janger was a finalist for superintendent of a Massachusetts school system, and for the second time, he was not chosen.

Dr. Janger, who was not picked in Reading in February, was among four seeking the top school job in Westford, whose School Committee voted Thursday, March 18, to choose one of their own.

Janger told YourArlington on March 19: "It is always a learning experience to consider other options and, like travel, it is always great to come home again. I am happy to continue as principal of AHS and I look forward to opening the new STEAM building next February." He was referring to the under-construction wing for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The Lowell Sun reports that Christopher Chew was the unanimous choice as the district’s next superintendent. He is the principal of Westford’s Stony Brook School, which serves grades 6 through 8, and will replace Bill Olsen on July 1, following Olsen’s 15-year stint as superintendent.

Within about an hour, the committee agreed to Chew, The Sun reported, though member Mingquan Zheng advocated for Janger.

School Committee members cited the stability Chew would bring as a leader in Westford, having already been a member of the community, as well as his trustworthiness, fun energy and scholar’s view of learning.

On March 4,  Janger told YourArlington: "I am honored to be considered for the position. I believe that I can make a positive contribution in the lives of students as superintendent, and Westford is a wonderful community with strong commitments to student success, well being and diversity. Like Arlington, it's a place I would be happy to raise a family."

He has led Arlington High, including the key effort to rebuild the school, since 2013. He took over Charles Skidmore retired. Before that, he was principal of Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Maine.

"The thought of leaving Arlington High School is certainly bittersweet. I have been Principal at Arlington for almost eight years and raised my family here. I love the school and the community."

The four finalists for the position faced the Westford public on Thursday, March 11, on Zoom. A meet-and-greet from parents and the community is set for each at 6 p.m. School Committee interviews are set to start at 7:30 p.m. 

The other finalists for the position are Melrose Assistant Superintendent Margaret Adams, Stony Brook Middle School (Westford) Principal Christopher Chew and Michele Shannon, executive vice president of client services for New York Leadership Academy.

On Thursday, March 18, the Westford School Committee will discuss each candidate and select its next superintendent.

See the finalist resumes here >>


Feb. 12, 2021: Reading chooses Medford candidate for superintendent


This news summary was published was published Thursday, March 5, 2021, and updated March 19, to include decision and Janger quote.