Cornwall and Bridport both need interim principals next year

CORNWALL — Two of the Addison Central Supervisory Union’s seven elementary schools — Bridport Central and Cornwall’s Bingham Memorial — will be led by interim leaders next year while permanent principals are being recruited this coming winter.
Peter Burrows, ACSU superintendent, confirmed last week that former Mary Hogan Elementary School Principal Bonnie Bourne and current Ripton Elementary Principal Tracey Harrington will co-manage Bridport Central for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Burrows is also looking for a person or team to lead the Cornwall elementary school next year, in light of the recently announced resignation of Principal Susan Hackett. Hackett on Wednesday confirmed she is stepping down as Cornwall principal in order to help her husband convalesce from a serious illness. But she will continue to be a presence in the ACSU, as she has accepted a part-time position as a literacy specialist with the district.
“I need to scale back my duties in light of my husband (Jimmy’s) illness,” Hackett said during a brief phone interview. “He has a surgery coming up.”
Hackett joined the Cornwall school last year, replacing then-Principal Denise Goodnow, who left to become leader of Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury. Hackett previously worked as reading intervention teacher at the Rutland Town School and as afterschool site coordinator at the Clarendon Elementary School. She is also past principal of the Plymouth and Sunderland elementary schools.
Hackett leaves the Cornwall job with regrets, but knows that family comes first.
“I especially enjoyed the children,” she said of her brief stint at Bingham Memorial School. “It’s the nicest group of kids. And it’s a very supportive community. I was very happy to get this position. I had heard so many good things about Cornwall, and they all proved to be true.”
That said, Hackett is looking forward to beginning her new job. She holds a master’s degree in reading.
“It’s my passion,” she said of literacy instruction.
Meanwhile, a transition team is now in place for Bridport Central. As recently reported in the Addison Independent, Principal Kathleen Kilbourne is stepping down this month to take the top administrative post at Castleton Elementary School. Kilbourne took the helm of Bridport Central in July of 2011, succeeding then-Principal Georgette Childs.
The Bridport School Board on June 10 agreed to hire two current ACSU administrators — Bourne and Harrington — to serve as an interim leadership team beginning this fall.
“Our goal was to support the great work that Kathleen has done and the systems she has put in place in Bridport,” Burrows said. He noted the advantage of hiring two people already familiar with ACSU programs.
Bourne served as principal, and then co-principal, at the Mary Hogan Elementary School in Middlebury for more than two decades. She stepped down from that role last year, but has continued to serve the school as a part-time administrative consultant.
Harrington is the part-time principal at Ripton Elementary and will continue in that role in concert with her new Bridport duties. She joined the Ripton school in 2011 after having taught math at Middlebury Union High School since 2000.
Burrows said Bourne’s and Harrington’s combined salaries as part-timers next year will amount to a little less than what Kilbourne has been earning in the job.
The pair will devise a work plan this summer to define their respective responsibilities.
“They will work together to cover the needs of the school,” Burrows said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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