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Charter school 'a labor of love'

Southbridge principals also trustees of proposed Worcester school

Jason DeFalco (click for larger version)
December 02, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — After the school day ends, two Southbridge school principals don't stop working.

Joany Santa (click for larger version)
They just turn their focus to another school, one they're hoping to start in Worcester.

Starting this past summer, West Street Principal Joany Santa and Wells Principal Jason DeFalco became trustees of the Leaders of Tomorrow (LofT) Charter Public School, an entity that's one of seven seeking state approval this year.

"It's been a labor of love; we did a lot of work this summer to put it together," Santa said. "This was always on the back burner. It's kind of like an author — when do they sit down to pen their novel?"

Both principals said they see this project as something separate from — and not in conflict with — their duties in Southbridge, and made a point of answering questions on their own time. They add they're both involved in other boards and similar activities, but see them as being part of their private life rather than their jobs.

"We work in [Southbridge Public Schools] and are totally committed to our jobs; our personal/professional associations are not in competition with our work," DeFalco wrote in e-mail, later adding his "belief that charters (which are public too), public, magnet and private schools are not in competition — all want to educate children, all provide an avenue for parents and educators to make the choice that best fits them."

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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