Shannon Warden hired as Mt. Abe principal


BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to hire Interim Principal Shannon Warden as the new Mount Abraham Union High and Middle School principal.
Warden had been serving as the interim principal at Mount Abe since July 1, when Superintendent Patrick Reen appointed her to the position following a survey of the school’s faculty and staff.
Her appointment followed the June resignation of former principal Jessica Barewicz to take a job in Barre, a move that gave MAUDS little time to find a new leader for its high school.
This time Reen said a mid-school year search brought five applications, after which the search committee chose to advance only Warden as a finalist. The key characteristics that a committee consisting of district employees, board members, students and residents sought in a new principal were good communication skills, “visibility, integrity and positive attitude,” he noted.
Both Reen and MAUSD Board Chair Dawn Griswold said in emails they were pleased with the recommendation and the board decision.
“Shannon’s energetic and positive personality combined with her depth of curricular knowledge and her ability to make strong connections with faculty, staff, students and community really stood out in her application and the interview process,” Reen said. “This, combined with the positive impact she has made at Mount Abe as interim principal this year made her the clear choice for the position.” 
Griswold echoed those remarks.
“Shannon has been a positive force at Mount Abe this year. She is connecting with students and staff alike, which will help foster success and growth for everyone. We are looking forward to seeing her impact on Mount Abe,” she said.
Warden graduated from Vergennes Union High School in 1999, and her parents — former Shelburne Police Chief Jim Warden and recently retired Ferrisburgh Town Clerk Gloria Warden — have lived in Ferrisburgh since 1987.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Vermont, Warden taught science at Otter Valley Union High School from 2007 to 2010 and at Middlebury Union Middle School from 2010 to 2013.
During that time Warden completed a master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction, and during her years teaching in Middlebury Reen was the MUMS assistant principal and then principal.
From 2013 to 2019 Warden served as the assistant principal of Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, leaving there to become the interim principal at Mount Abe, the school’s fifth since 2014.
Warden said she was “more than gratified” to have the interim designation removed from her title. 
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from faculty, staff, students, families, board and the community. Putting trust in someone who is responsible for your child’s educational experience is not a decision you arrive at easily. I am over the moon that I will continue to be a part of this hidden gem of an educational organization that shapes our students for bright futures,” she said.
“The fact that I have finally arrived and met my professional goal and found a place to call home has not fully sunk in yet.  I’m looking forward to our continued work as a school and district together.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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