The staff and students of Henry Wilson Elementary School did not have to look far for their new leader. Kimberly Organek, current principal of Southside Middle School, will succeed Linda Durand, who is retiring from her post at Wilson this month.
“I started my career in education teaching at the elementary level,” said Mrs. Organek. “I’m excited to return to working with younger students and continue the progress Wilson has made in improving student achievement.”
Wilson is a Priority School, a designation based on low scores over three years on reading and math NECAP assessment tests. Priority Schools receive federal funding and resources to support initiatives that address academic improvement.
Mrs. Organek is credited with helping Southside recently meet the criteria to exit Priority School status. She became principal at Southside last fall, having previously served as assistant principal at Cawley Middle School in Hooksett for two years, and Middle School at Parkside in Manchester from 2008 to 2011.
Mrs. Durand is completing her 43rd school year at Wilson. She taught second grade for many years, became the school’s first full-time assistant principal in the 1980s, and has been principal since 2008.
“I am leaving Wilson School with the knowledge that it will always have the heart and energy needed to move our students forward regardless of the hardships and difficulties they face,” Mrs. Durand said.
Mrs. Organek’s departure from Southside opens a position there. The middle school’s new principal will be announced when he or she is hired.