Next Addison principal will be full-time

ADDISON — Incoming Addison Central School Principal Matt DeBlois will be a full-time presence in the building during this coming academic year after a Thursday decision made by the ACS board.
During the current school year, the school’s longtime principal, Wayne Howe, has worked on a 60-percent basis while spending the other 40 percent of his work week serving as the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union’s assistant superintendent. Howe is leaving ACS at the end of the year to be principal of the Northfield Elementary School.
ACS Board chairwoman Michele Kelly confirmed on Friday the board unanimously backed at its May 15 meeting a proposal to increase DeBlois’ position from 60 to 80 percent.
Essentially, she said, DeBlois will work fulltime while school is in session, but unlike most principals will not have summertime obligations.
Kelly said DeBlois, a Vergennes Union High School French teacher and Rowland Foundation Fellow who has earned his administrator’s license, will thus be in the central school building to work with students and teachers alike.
“The important thing is Matt will be there throughout the school year, which is best for the students and best for the teachers in support,” she said.
The decision will not have an impact on the budget Addison voters approved in March. Kelly declined on Friday to be specific, but said there was a tradeoff in health insurance benefits involved.
“We could afford this because we were able to realize a savings in health benefits,” she said, adding, “I want to assure everyone in Addison we’re not creating a deficit.”
Kelly said ACS board members appreciated the efforts to make the current year successful, but were unanimous in their preference to return to having a full-time leader in the building.
“I am really happy it worked out we could do this,” she said. “Everyone will be more secure and less stressed.”
A group in Addison is inviting all past and present Addison Central School students and families to celebration thanking departing ACS Principal Wayne Howe.
Howe, who has served the school for 13 years, has accepted an offer to become the principal of the 300-student Northfield Elementary School.
An open house in his honor will be held on Sunday, June 1, 1-3 p.m. at the ACS gym.
Organizers said the atmosphere will be casual, and provide everyone an opportunity to thank Howe and wish him well in his new position. There will be a table of light desserts and music will be provided by Matteo Palmer.
Anyone wishing to drop off a card or letter for Howe is welcome to do so.

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