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Two finalists picked for Bristol Elementary principalship

BRISTOL — The two finalists for Bristol Elementary School’s principal job met with faculty, staff, students, parents and community members at a meet-and-greet at the school Wednesday evening; one face was familiar to locals and the other was new to the area.
Justin Bouvier, a math teacher at Mount Abraham Union High School, and Kevin Robinson, Abu Dhabi Education Council Director of Schools, are candidates for the job currently held by Sandy Jump, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“The committee and I are excited to bring these two candidates forward,” said Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli, who spearheaded the search. “We believe they both have much to offer Bristol Elementary School.”
Participants at Wednesday’s get-to-know-you forum had the opportunity to provide written feedback on the candidates, which the search committee will be compiling as part of the decision-making process, along with doing reference checks.
Incoming Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Superintendent Patrick Reen also interviewed the candidates on Wednesday, and he will present his recommendation to the school board at its meeting next Tuesday.
Bouvier, a Bristol native, has taught math at MAUHS the past five years. He began his career in education as a paraeducator at the Bristol high school in 2000. During the 2014-2015 school year, he served as administrative liaison/dean of students for grades 9-12. Bouvier earned a B.A. in math from Castleton University in 2011 and will be awarded a master’s of education in school leadership from St. Michael’s College later this month.
In his letter to the school’s principal search committee, Bouvier played up his beliefs on the nature of education.
“The following values are at my core: All students deserve to have curriculum that is accessible, developmentally appropriate and rigorous,” he wrote. “There needs to be open lines of honest communication to all members of our community. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I always keep students at the center of our work.”
Bouvier added that he is fortunate to have grown up “in my community surrounded by most of my 21 cousins (and all of their families as well). I am a proud alumni of BES and MAUMHS, where I found my passion for education because of the influences that my teachers had on me.”
Robinson has worked in education for 23 years. For the past five years, he has worked in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, as a Cluster Manager of Schools. In that job he has mentored and evaluated principals and helped the wider school system work toward reforms.
Before that, he worked for over 12 years as assistant principal and then principal at schools in the greater Atlanta, Ga., area and as an assistant principal in the Columbia, S.C., area. Robinson began as a chemistry and physics teacher in Orangeburg, S.C. He holds a B.A. in biology from South Carolina State University and a master’s in educational leadership and administration from the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
“Over the past 23 years, I have had the professional pleasure of working within the field of education supporting the learning needs of students. Sixteen years of my professional experience has been in leadership roles in local, state and international educational settings,” Robinson wrote in his letter to the search committee. “I am a very people-oriented person, and I strongly believe in the effective use of teamwork and collaboration to maximize the talents of each individual on a team.”
Robinson also spoke about the importance of “building strong connections, demonstrating commitment and being of good character” and noted that Bristol “exudes the type of values we would like to expose our youngest two children to as we look to transition back home to the States after the wealth of experiences they have gained living life abroad the past five years.”
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].

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