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Ashley Gray Named New Essex Elementary School Principal

May 6, 2020

Video Q&A with Gray
- Ashley Gray has been named the principal at the Essex Elementary School for the coming school year. Gray will be taking over the role previously held by current principal Peter Farrell.  


Next year Farrell will share his time between Essex Elementary and Founders Memorial with a focus on social emotional learning. Wendy Cobb will continue to be the primary principal at Founders, but she will also provide support for special education services at both.  


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.  


“As superintendent, I am very excited to have Ashley Gray join our leadership team. Ashley is known to be a thoughtful leader and one who cares deeply about her students,” said EWSD Superintendent Beth Cobb. “Her experiences and energy will be a welcomed asset to EES. I am looking forward to helping to foster the co-principal model and to contribute to the seamless transition for students from EES to FMS.”  


Gray brings experience as a principal to EES as she has held the same role at Peacham Elementary School (PreK-6) for the last four years. While at Peacham, she has helped ensure and support the successful implementation of curriculum and best instructional practices, while creating and implementing effective systems that have built a culture of high quality learning for all students through a MTSS, PBIS, and data driven approach.


“I am looking forward to working with the Essex Elementary School community,” said Gray. “I was excited and inspired during the hiring process to learn more about the Essex Westford School District’s commitment to equity as it is well-aligned with my core values. I am eager to meet the EES students and their families soon!”


In 2015 Gray was selected to take part in the Vermont School Leadership Project, an intensive school leadership program from the Snelling Center for Government.


She has experience in the classroom, as she taught Spanish at the Barnet School and East Montpelier Elementary School simultaneously for four years to students in grades K-8. While at East Montpelier, she developed the elementary Spanish curriculum for the district, oversaw the student leadership program, led the PBIS committee, and integrated technology and media into the fifth and sixth grade Spanish curriculum.


Gray earned her undergraduate degrees in Spanish, education, and human services at Clark University and would also later receive her master’s degree there as well. 


She will officially start at Essex Elementary School on July 1, 2020.




Connect With Your New Principal!!! 


With the current state of affairs and the Stay Home, Stay Safe order in effect, EES 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 Monday, May 11.