Barrington elementary school has a new principal

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The head teacher at Hampden Meadows School is now the top administrator at Primrose Hill.

Pat Tolento, who worked as the head teacher and the math curriculum leader at Hampden Meadows, was named the new principal at Primrose Hill School last month.

Ms. Tolento replaces Paula Montesi, the former Primrose Hill principal who retired at the end of the school year. Ms. Montesi stayed on a few extra days to help with Ms. Tolento’s transition to her new position, although Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said he was confident the new principal would be a quick study.

“She’ll hit the ground running,” Mr. Messore said. “She has a very good understanding of the curriculum ... she has also held leadership roles in the district.”

Ms. Tolento has been working in Barrington schools since 2010. Prior to that date she worked as a special education teacher at the Center For Arts & Technology, a high school in Phoenixville, Pa. She also taught in public schools in Downingtown, Pa., and at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, N.J.

Ms. Tolento has more than two decades of experience and said she has grown to appreciate the atmosphere in Barrington public schools.

“There is great collegial support in this district,” she said. “I love it here.”

Ms. Tolento said she enjoyed her time working at Hampden Meadows School and valued her hard-working fellow teachers and administrators. She added that she was very excited to get started at Primrose Hill School, and had already met a number of the educators there.

“I’m expecting that we’re going to get off to a great start,” she said.

Mr. Messore sent an email to parents of Primrose Hill School students recently, alerting them to their new principal.

“It is with great enthusiasm to inform you that the School Committee has confirmed the appointment of Patricia Tolento as the new principal of Primrose Hill School. She is leaving her position as head teacher at  Hampden Meadows where she has demonstrated strong educational and leadership qualities. Pat has in depth knowledge of our District goals and how we function as a Professional Learning Community. She is excited to work with the Primrose Hill School community.”

Mr. Messore said the district had an impressive crop of candidates to choose from for the Primrose Hill job. He said a screening committee reviewed submitted information from all the applicants and whittled down the list of candidates. Then an interview committee took over and met with the top selections.

Soon after that, district officials offered the position to Ms. Tolento.

“I’m ecstatic,” Ms. Tolento said about her new endeavor.

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