By Scott Calzolaio

Staff Reporter

Shrewsbury resident and veteran educator, Liz Garden, has been hired as the new principal at Henry P. Clough Elementary.

Current principal Janice Gallagher is retiring at the end of this school year.

Right now, Garden is the principal at the Dr. Leroy E. Mayo Elementary School in Wachusett, where she’s been in charge since 2018.

Garden comes with over 20 years of experience in the Massachusetts school system as both a teacher and administrator.

“I’m really looking forward to joining the team,” she said. “Just walking around the building and interacting with the parents and the students, I felt like this was the place where I belong,” Garden said during the March 28 School Committee meeting.

She comes with teaching experience in grades from pre-k to high school, as well as multiple administrative roles under her belt.

“She brings with her a professional background that enhances each school community that she leads,” said Superintendent Maureen Cohen.

Cohen listed her accolades as a published author, and professional development provider, among other achievements the School Committee felt makes her the best candidate for the position.

In 2023, Garden will be serving as the President of the Massachusetts School Administrators Association. In addition, she serves as an editorial advisor and contributing writer for NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) Magazine.

Additionally, she has “provided a voice for principals across the state of Massachusetts,” as a member of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as a member of the principal advisory cabinet, said Cohen.

Also on her resume, is a membership with the Scholastic Principal Advisory Board, and the National Coronavirus Taskforce.

“Something that everyone knows,” said Cohen,” is that she’s a passionate leader in literacy.”

As a result, Cohen said Garden was on the team of literacy experts that guided DESE in the creation of the Massachusetts literacy resource website, and was selected as a member of the state’s literacy support network.

“It was a hard decision to leave my school now, but (at the same time) it was an easy decision because I knew I’d be stepping into a place that would feel like home.”