DERRY | Lorrie Belinsky, a science teacher at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, will be the new West Running Brook Middle School assistant principal.

Belinsky, who has taught at the middle school for 21 years, will trade her Husky blue and gold for West Running Brook Bear purple and white next school year.

Yesterday morning, Belinsky wore her new school colors to the Hood staff breakfast, where she received congratulations for her promotion. The School Board unanimously accepted her as assistant principal at its meeting Tuesday night.

She will replace Assistant Principal Scott Bolton, who is moving to Virginia for a new job. Belinsky will join Principal Leslie Saucier and Assistant Principal Justin Kreiger on the West Running Brook administration team.

After the School Board vote, Saucier gave Belinsky a purple-and-white jacket with Bears emblazoned on the back and "assistant principal" embroidered on the side. Saucier said she will add Belinsky's name to the coat now that she's been appointed.

Saucier told the School Board she was thrilled to have Belinsky as assistant principal. Saucier and Belinsky taught together at Hood, worked on the spring musical together, and Saucier turned over the reins of the Hood National Junior Honor Society to Belinsky.

In addition to her years teaching at Hood, Belinsky did her student teaching at the school and is a graduate of the school.

"I started getting the bug in 2004," Belinsky said of her decision to apply for a leadership post.

At that time, Belinsky joined Hood's Hope Team, formed in response to the school being labeled a "school in need of improvement" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The designation is tied to student test scores on the state standardized test.

Belinsky became involved in helping to improve student test scores, as well as motivating teachers.

"It evolved from there," she said.

Belinsky's salary will be determined by the district's compensation panel, Superintendent Mary Ellen Hannon said.

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