CANTON — Superintendent Derek Folan is pleased to announce that Saundra Watson has been selected as the new principal of the John F. Kennedy Elementary School.
Watson will begin in her new position on July 1, 2022.
Watson was selected following a comprehensive search and interview process that included multiple rounds of engagement with all stakeholders, including JFK staff, students, families, community members and administrators.
“Saundra Watson has significant and valuable experience supporting students and fostering their growth and success at a high level, and working collaboratively with educators and families to do so,” Superintendent Folan said. “Her love of students and learning is a true commitment. We are very excited to welcome her to the Canton community and we look forward to her leadership.”
Watson comes to the Canton Public Schools from the Newton Public Schools where she has served as the assistant principal at Newton’s Angier Elementary School since 2020. In addition to working with students, staff and families, and coordinating operations and programs within the school, she has also worked to create systems that promote positive student behavior and tiered intervention systems to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of a diverse student body.
Prior to that role, she served in multiple special education roles, including as an educator/liaison, team chair and coordinator at elementary and middle schools in Needham for eight years. She began her career in 1998 at The Walker School in Needham serving as campus supervisor. She also later served as assistant director of residential services, a classroom teacher and assistant principal at the school.
“Ms. Watson shares the values of high expectations, academic excellence, and educational equity for all students,” Superintendent Folan said. “Her colleagues commended her communication skills, calm and confident demeanor, sense of humor, and an ever-present leadership style. She is well respected as an educational leader, and a community and culture builder.”
Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Lesley College, a Master of Education in Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities PK-8 from the Wheelock College Graduate School of Education, and a Master of Education in Language and Literacy from the Simmons College Graduate School of Education.
“As an educator I believe that the key to a successful learning community is to build positive relationships. Positive relationships with faculty, students and families foster an inclusive environment where all students thrive,” Watson said. “I am excited to begin to build trusting relationships with members of the John F. Kennedy school community and look forward to all the great work we will do together.”
Superintendent Folan also extends his thanks to the members of the JFK Principal Interview Committee who dedicated many hours to this process. The diligence and professionalism of the JFK Interview Committee is greatly appreciated.