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Matt Melaugh Selected as Next Founders Memorial Principal

April 12, 2021

ESSEX, Vt. - Matt Melaugh has been selected as the new principal at Founders Memorial School. Melaugh will be taking over the role previously held by current principal Wendy Cobb.


Next year Cobb will share her time between Essex Elementary and Founders Memorial with a focus on student support services and multi-tiered systems of support. Ashley Gray will continue to be the primary principal at EES.


Starting last school year, as students move from second grade at EES to third grade at FMS, the intent is to create a seamless transition by using common language, similar teaching practices, and sharing common expectations. By using a tightly aligned curriculum and providing common experiences, students and families will become familiar with a one-school approach.  


“I’m honored to join Principals Cobb and Gray and everyone at Founders Memorial School. I look forward to building deep relationships with the whole school community and working together to support every student’s continuous growth; academically, emotionally, and socially,” said Melaugh. 


Melaugh brings a vast mix of experiences throughout his professional career, which includes time as a program manager, teacher, and special education coordinator at College Bound Dorchester, an alternative middle school in Boston that serves disengaged seventh and eighth-grade students. 


While there, he worked on creating a culture of family and high expectations and built off of those positive relationships to motivate students to re-engage and re-commit to their educational future. Teaching history, math, earth science, and social-emotional classes, Melaugh was instrumental in helping students make significant academic gains. 


In his last position before joining the EWSD, Melaugh served as the director at the Department of Youth Services in Brockton, Mass., where he transformed a struggling program into an exemplary, therapeutic, trauma-informed, PBIS rehabilitation and education program for youth committed to the state’s Department of Youth Services.


As part of the Ready for Reading program, he was the founding director of the first free public library in Rwanda. Melaugh managed a staff of 25 community members who provided educational programming for youth and adults in the rural community of Rwinkwavu.


Using focus groups, he helped to create community programming around such topics as a kinyarwandan literacy programming, English classes using electronic readers, preparatory classes for national exams, and computer literacy classes for youth, while also Kinyarwanda literacy, English class, women’s empowerment clubs, and anti-genocide peace clubs for adults, as well as structured music and basketball education for youth and adults. 


Melaugh also spent time as a program manager with the ACCEPT Education Collaborative, working with the special education programs to provide additional educational and therapeutic resources to students with moderate to severe needs.


A 2005 graduate from the University of Maryland College Park, Melaugh also earned his M.Ed from Harvard’s School Leadership Program in 2018.


Melaugh, along with his wife Cory and their three children (Mali, Ruby, and Ozzie) are excited to move to Vermont, as he will officially start at Founders Memorial on July 1, 2021.




Connect With Your New Principal! 


Due to COVID, Founders is unable to host an in-person meet and greet with the new principal. Students, parents, and community members will have a chance to ask questions for an upcoming video interview that will be shared publicly in the meantime. 

If you have a question that you would like to ask, please submit that to Essex Westford School District Communications Coordinator Ben Dickie ( by Wednesday, April 28.