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Lenox debuts as Shoreham school leader

SHOREHAM — After spending more than a decade teaching music in the classroom, Michael Lenox is ready to play a new tune — as top administrator of Shoreham Elementary School.
Lenox, 37, is beginning what he hopes will be a lengthy tenure as principal of Shoreham Elementary, succeeding James Ross.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Lenox said during an interview on Thursday.
Ross, of Ridgewood, N.J., led Shoreham Elementary as interim administrator last year following the departure of former Principal Heather Best. Best left the school in June of 2013 after six years, in order to accept a teaching position at Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon.
Lenox, a Bomoseen resident, comes to Shoreham after a six-year stint teaching music in Rutland intermediate and middle schools. Prior to that, he had taught music at Fair Haven Union High School for four years.
“While at Rutland, there were many opportunities for teacher leadership,” Lenox said. “One of the things that drew me to leaving the classroom and becoming a school leader was the opportunity to build, and bring people together in a way that is going to impact all the students.”
He was particularly attracted to the Shoreham school’s smaller scale as compared to where he had been teaching. Shoreham has an elementary student body of around 75.
“I’ll be able to get to know every student and family and be able to work directly with all of the players,” said Lenox, who has two young sons.
He very much likes what he has seen so far of his new work environment.
“It’s a great school with a highly dedicated staff; it’s a strong community,” Lenox said. “Everyone seems to have a commitment to seeing that every student is successful.”
Asked to describe his management style, Lenox replied, “being a team builder, someone who brings people together and helps facilitate people to move in the same direction.”
For his first year, Lenox will focus on familiarizing himself with his students, colleagues and the Shoreham community. He will also continue some of the successful initiatives the school has already been implementing, such as its literacy/guided reading program. School officials have also been focusing on making sure Shoreham Elementary has a warm, welcoming environment to instill a sense of “belonging” in the students.
Peter Burrows, superintendent of the Addison Central Supervisory Union, was pleased to welcome Lenox on board.
“(Lenox) brings with him significant leadership skills,” Burrows said. “He has had extensive leadership experience in Rutland City, leading work on Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports and taking part in the Woodruff Institute for Educational Leadership at Castleton. Michael has a history of collaborative, systems leadership that will be an essential component of building a vision for the students, staff and community of Shoreham.”
Lenox plans on sticking around for a while.
“This should be a long-term commitment,” he said. “To see a school change, you need at least six years to really make your work whole, and I am thinking much longer than that.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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