New Prinicipal Laurie Dias-Mitchell introduced herself to the School Committee Tuesday night in anticipation of beginning work in the district July 1.
She was following former Principal Patti Aull to . Mary Bolton has served as interim principal.
"Tiverton schools are on the move right now," Dias-Mitchell said in an interview Wednesday. "It’s just the perfect time to be a part of that momentum and get back to such an amazing enterprise."
She enters her 30th year in public education.
After spending 10 years working in higher education in the area, she did a graduate school practicum at to get certified in her school librarianship, and then did another in Dartmouth, MA. Next, Dias-Mitchell worked as a media director and technology services coordinator with Westport, MA, schools, and then came to for five years, writing various grants. When the new Dartmouth High School got ready for opening, she was called to help get it ready.
Dias-Mitchell followed the Tiverton 2012-13 budget debates, including .
"It told me I'm going to a community that cares about kids and schools," she said.
Dias-Mitchell, 52, currently serves as library/media services director for Dartmouth High School, a title she's held for the last 10 years. While there, she was chairwoman of the Literacy Committee, working to integrate various strategies in the major student content areas.
"For several years, I wrote the curriculum and grants for our alternative high school program," she said. "I also was in charge of community service at DHS. directing students every Saturday runniing a soup kitchen in Fall River."
Dias-Mitchell said this group won top community service awards in Massachusetts. She also organized two bus loads of students in two different years to go help in New Orleans, LA, following Hurricane Katrina, raising funds and spearheading those efforts to see them through.
"It was service learning," she said, noting the New Bedford Standard-Times named her “Woman of the Year” during those two years.
Dias-Mitchell holds a certificate of advanced graduate studies from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a Master of Library and Information Services from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Arts in English from Simmons College.
She lives in Westport with her husband of 29 years and her two children. Her daughter is an attorney and her son has a degree in biology and is currently going back to school for another degree, this time in jazz musicianship.
"I just feel so connected to these three communties," Dias-Mitchell said of Tiverton, Dartmouth and Westport. "Tiverton always has special place my heart. My experience started here."