It has been quite an experience for me since I transitioned to Winthrop Elementary School last summer, and I still can’t believe the school year has come to an end. There have been days and events that stand out as absolutely stellar and memory making for our students, but it’s the day-to-day dedication of the adults in our community that I think about most often.
- The commitment and concern of the dozen or so staff members and parents who came in last summer to meet with me and talk about Winthrop, both in terms of strengths and challenges.
- The involvement of the parents – from day one to day 180 there were family members in our school, volunteering in the classrooms, the lunchroom, with projects, with parties, with field trips, with performances and special events, etc.
- There were also plenty of volunteers who worked from home and helped with project prep, phone calls, emails, and our weekly e-Notices!
- The experience of our teaching staff – Winthrop has very few teachers with under five years of service and that is a rarity in education these days! There is a wealth of “institutional knowledge” and best practices within the school walls, and a variety of styles and approaches to teaching and learning.
So, many will say, “Why go?” and others will talk about the “mass exodus” of administrators in Melrose, and that’s the reasoning behind this post. There’s a cliché … timing is everything, and the timing in my situation has been less than ideal. I understand that my sudden departure may cause people to speculate on why I’m leaving. Throughout the year, I have striven to be transparent and truthful, and in continuation of that I assure you I was not out looking for a new job, and had dully intended to help work Melrose through this transitional phase. I think it is exciting to see new district leadership in Central Office positions, and am impressed with both Cyndy Taymore, and what I’ve recently learned about Dr. Adams. I have been working diligently with Lincoln principal, Brent Conway, on how best to transition in three new principals for Hoover, Horace Mann, and Roosevelt, and continue to do so.
This late breaking opportunity to return to Tyngsborough was truly a family decision, and heavily debated and agonized over in the Herrera household. Time is the number one detractor in our lives, with my husband’s hectic police schedule, having a soon-to-be 18-year-old college commuting son, two rambunctious dogs, and my busy principal life! The ability for me to be home between the school day and evening events is the biggest time-gaining factor for us and weighed heavily in this decision. Returning to the district where I grew in my teaching methods, and in my administrative style and practice was also a strong motivating factor.
I think Winthrop Elementary School is a fabulous place for students to be, and believe that the dedication of the adults who are part of this community makes Winthrop truly stand out. I am thankful for a wonderful year, and will miss being part of helping Winthrop and Melrose grow and move forward.