Vergennes hires new co-principal

VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on May 13 hired a new co-principal for the 2013-2014 school year who has spent the past six years as the assistant principal of U-32 High School in East Montpelier.
Burlington resident Stephanie C. Taylor will begin this summer, said Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Tom O’Brien.
Taylor will assume the same duties as those performed by VUHS Co-Principal Peter Reynolds, who is retiring after eight years at VUHS and a long career in education. She will be primarily responsible for the middle school grades at the school while sharing overall duties with Co-Principal Ed Webbley.
O’Brien said there were 33 applicants for the position, and the board’s search subcommittee identified a dozen of those as semifinalists. After the committee did more homework, five of those semifinalists were interviewed. Two became finalists, and O’Brien said he and the search committee recommended Taylor to the full board on May 13, when the decision was made and she accepted.
Taylor has a master’s of education from St. Michael’s College in school leadership and has taken graduate courses in Library Media Studies and Middle Level Education at the University of Vermont.
Before serving as U-32’s assistant principal, Taylor spent a year as Mount Mansfield’s head librarian and seven years as a library media specialist and technology integrationist in the Grand Isle Supervisory Union. There, she also served as an acting principal and regularly taught classes.
From 1999 to 2001, Taylor was a special education para-educator and library assistant at Westford Elementary School.
In her cover letter to O’Brien, Taylor indicated her interest in the ongoing VUHS performance-based graduation requirement (PBGR) effort to switch to a system in which students are required to demonstrate mastery of material before graduation.
The first two bullet points in her cover letter under “specific relevant accomplishments” were:
•  Directed the collaborative process to identify and define the core values and beliefs for student learning as a first step toward proficiency-based graduation requirements.
•  Supported and expanded a variety of flexible programming options to meet the changing needs of students as they work toward graduation by incorporating differing levels of experiential and community-based learning.
Taylor also lists skills in leading professional development sessions in key curriculum issues, helping to develop methods of assessing PBGRs, coordinating curriculum on a district-wide basis, and participating in “long-range planning and budgeting.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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