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Danielle Laurie appointed principal of Melville School

She succeeds Elizabeth Viveiros, who becomes assistant superintendent on July 1


PORTSMOUTH — The school district has chosen a familiar face to lead Melville Elementary School.

The School Committee Tuesday night voted unanimously to ratify Superintendent Thomas Kenworthy’s selection of Danielle Laurie as the next principal of the school. She succeeds Elizabeth Viveiros, who’s leaving that job to become the district’s assistant superintendent effective July 1.

Mrs. Laurie is well known in the district — especially at Melville. She’s worked in education for 18 years as a special educator, a resource teacher, an intensive resource teacher and a co-teacher, from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Most recently she’s been the elementary student support specialist for Melville and Hathaway schools, coordinating all aspects of special education and coaching the schools’ academic and behavior target teams.  

“We’re very excited to bring her on as the next principal at Melville,” said Mr. Kenworthy, noting there were more than 40 applicants for the position.

Ms. Viveiros said she watched Mrs. Laurie’s leadership skills blossom at Melville. “I am so proud of Danielle and all of her accomplishments,” she said.

“Melville and this community mean everything to me,” Mrs. Laurie said as she thanked Mr. Kenworthy and the School Committee for the honor. “I look forward to leading this school, which has always led me.”

On her district web page, Mrs. Laurie said when she’s “not at Melville or Hathaway, I love spending time with my beautiful daughter, Iris, and my husband, Andrew.”

Farewell to Sipala

Also Tuesday night, the committee recognized Kathy Sipala, the outgoing interim assistant superintendent, who was with the district for about six months. 

Ms. Sipala has spent 41 years in education. 

“This was fabulous, to meet your school department,” she said.

School Committee Chairwoman Emily Copeland said it was always “insightful and helpful” to hear Ms. Sipala’s thoughts on teaching and learning. 

“Thank you from all of us, for all the care and the work you’ve done,” she said.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.