May 28, 2020LITTLETON — After several months of review the Littleton School Board announced their choice for the district's new superintendent. Dr. William Hart, who has spent the last two years living and working in Brazil is slated to begin on July 1.
A seasoned administrator at both the national and international level, Hart is a Massachusetts native. He is a secondary principal at the School of the Nations in Brasilia.
Hart was Superintendent of the Ipswich Public Schools from 2013 to 2017 before moving to the capital of Brazil in 2018. He said he purchased a home in the North Country five years ago intending to make northern NH his permanent home.
When asked what attracted him to the position, Hart said Littleton is a town 'on the move.'
He added, "Littleton is a town that is interested in expanding its brand, wants to make things happen and continuously improve. That's the kind of town I want to be working with."
The administrator said he first applied for the position and began speaking with school board members last fall.
"When I decided to come back to the United States, Littleton was the only job I applied for," he said.
Hart's two-year stint in Brazil is not his first experience in international education. From 1992 until 1994, he was the Assistant Principal at the American Community School near Athens, Greece.
Hart's experience as a high school principal in Leominster, Mass., drew him to Brazil.
He explained, "It was a very diverse high school with 42 different cultures represented. The Brazilian population was fairly significant there and I found the Brazilian kids and their families to be warm, kind and supportive."
According to the administrator Littleton's educational mission and vision are similar to his experience in Brazil.
"It's essential to me that the schools are clear about what they stand for and where they are going," he said.
When asked what his initial goals would be for the Littleton School District, Hart described four key elements.
"I find a great place to start is identifying the strengths and challenges, the habits of successful people and powerful learning. I always start by meeting with the stakeholders and asking two questions; what do you see as the strengths of the school system and what do you see as the challenges," he explained.
Hart continued, "The second thing that I normally do is aim to build consensus around what people think students should know or be able to do. I ask, what are the characteristics of highly successful people? The type of people you want your children to grow up to be. What are their dispositions and habits?"
According to Hart the primary objective of education is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and intellectual habits to be productive citizens in a global community. He said this objective creates a philosophical imperative to balance academic content acquisition with intellectual and social disposition development.
Lastly, Hart said, "What we want students to know and be able to do has shifted this century and education must align resources, academic objectives and student outcomes with the new educational standard."