Becky Janda, a longtime educator and school administrator, has been named the next principal of the Nantucket Intermediate School.
Janda’s hiring was announced Tuesday evening by Nantucket Public Schools superintendent Beth Hallett. She will succeed Evemarie McNeil, who is leaving the position and the island at the end of this school year.
“It’s very exciting,” Janda told the Current last night. “One of the deciding factors for me was the administrative team. I enjoyed the interview process - meeting the superintendent and the leadership team, and being at NIS to see the staff and the kids. It felt like a really great fit and a place that I could support what’s happening and grow with them and lead them. I loved the diversity of the population. I lived in Central America and worked there, so it was fun to meet kids from El Salvador and Guatemala on Nantucket.”
Janda is currently the principal of the Royalston Community School, which includes kindergarten through the sixth grade. She has served as a principal, assistant principal and special education coordinator for the past 16 years. Prior to that, she was a classroom educator, working as a dual language second grade teacher, a third grade teacher, and a special educator.
Janda, who said she is very aware of the island’s housing challenges, will be living in an apartment provided by the school district.
In her new role, she will become just the second principle of the Nantucket Intermediate School, which opened its doors six years ago to serve the public school system’s grades three to five.
“The school is incredibly impressive - how bright it is, the artwork - and it was so inviting and indicative of the culture that people value and the kids being taught in a way that gets the best artwork out of them,” Janda said. “Talking to Beth (Hallett), I felt like it was a place to pursue, and enjoyed hearing about the year-round community, how it comes together and takes care of each other. I think the challenge of anyone new is building relationships and trust. That’s not something that can be rushed. So that’s my first challenge: meet with people and hear from them on what’s going well, talk to kids and families. One of the challenges is they have a phenomenal principal now who is well-known and well-loved, so that’s hard to step into someone's shoes and having those big shoes to fill.”
Janda has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education from Gordon College, a Masters of Education in Elementary Education and Administration from Atlantic Union College, and a Post-Grad Certificate from Fitchburg State in Instructional Technology. She will be moving to the island at the end of June, and will begin her new position in mid-July.