ADAMS -- After a "rigorous" four-month search, April West was named Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School's (BART) new principal on Wednesday.

A veteran teacher at the school, West will step into her new role effective July 1, according to Julia Bowen, the executive director of the charter school in Adams.

"I'm excited to build on the tremendous success that BART has achieved over the past five years under the guidance of Principal [Ben] Klompus," West said. "I know that we have a team in place that will continue to prepare 100 percent of our graduates for college and the workforce, and I am honored to lead this effort."

West has some big shoes to fill, left by outgoing principal Klompus, who is leaving the position to pursue a doctorate in education at Harvard. But West is more than up for the challenge, her colleagues said.

"Ms. West was an exceptional candidate who has already demonstrated commitment to our school community, a deep understanding of our student population, and an eagerness and ability to drive continued improvement to our curriculum and instruction," Bowen wrote in a statement. "I am confident that she will be able to lead our faculty and students to greater achievements."

After joining the faculty in 2006 as a humanities and English teacher, West initiated an Advanced Placement program to offer two college-credit courses for students.

Bowen said West served in numerous teacher-leader roles, all while continuing to demonstrate an "exceptional commitment to the mission of BART and to BART's students.


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West, who received her bachelor's in social justice from Bennington College, went on to obtain her master's in comparative studies from Ohio State University.

Always the teacher as well as the student, West is currently completing a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in exceptional leadership from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

To reach Josh Stilts:
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