Ryan McCluskey named new principal of Exeter NH Lincoln School

EXETER — Ryan McCluskey has been named the new principal of Lincoln Street School.

Exeter School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint McCluskey to the post after a public interview.

McCluskey will replace current principal Drew Bairstow, who will assume a new role at SAU on July 16 as principal of Stratham Cooperative Middle School.

“I’m really excited to be here,” said eight-year-old Exeter resident McCluskey. “It’s a unique opportunity. A unique opportunity to do the work that I am so passionate about in the community I live in and this unique opportunity to have a direct impact within my family that could not be replicated anywhere else.

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McCluskey has served as the principal of Memorial Elementary School in Newton since 2018 and served as vice-principal of Sanborn Regional Middle School in the same school district from 2017 to 2018.

McCluskey was previously a language arts teacher for sixth and eighth graders at Timberlane Regional Middle School in Plaistow for 11 years.

As a leader, he said it was important to “recognize and validate the very good work that is being done” at the school. As an educator, McCluskey believes that every student deserves the various basic needs such as social, emotional, and physical support in order to access their full potential as a “whole learner.”

“Under my leadership, Lincoln Street School will continue to work hard to meet the needs of staff and students, enabling all learners to have the opportunity to access and engage in meaningful learning experiences that empower the whole child to grow and reach their collective potential,” he told the school board.

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Exeter School Board chairwoman Dawn Bullens asked McCluskey about her ability to separate her personal and professional life as a city resident and head of education, saying it had been a ‘challenge’ for some in the past.

“I was extremely careful and thoughtful about this before applying for this role,” McCluskey said. “I think I have a good idea of ​​how to balance the two (personal and professional). It’s inevitable (that I meet other parents outside of school), but honestly, nobody exceeded these limits.

Board member Patrick O’Day asked McCluskey what he saw as challenges in the position.

McCluskey said the biggest challenge at Lincoln Street School will be facilitating the different components of the school’s needs. He said he would use the first 100 days to focus on getting to know the school – its staff, its students as well as their parents.

“One of the challenges whenever you enter a new district is making sure you know your staff, the student community and their parents,” McCluskey said. “You really have to invest some equity in learning these coins.”

McCluskey received her degree in education from Elmira College in New York and her master of arts in English from Rivier University in Nashua. He holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Instructional Leadership from Plymouth State University.

As a family man, McCluskey lives locally with his wife, Erica, a science teacher at Timberlane Middle School, and their two boys, Liam and Evan.

“For those who know me, they will know how important family is to me,” McCluskey said. “They will also know how important the community is to me, they drive a lot of what I do.”