Christina Johnston to lead Weybridge — again

CHRISTINA JOHNSTON WILL soon reprise her role as principal of Weybridge Elementary School, which she helmed for 26 years prior to leaving for a job at Middlebury College in 2019.

WEYBRIDGE — The next principal of Weybridge Elementary School will need no introduction to the community she’s about to serve — again.

Addison Central School District Superintendent Peter Burrows confirmed Christina Johnston will move into the job, which she vacated two years ago in order to take a job as a lecturer in Education Studies at Middlebury College.

It should be noted that Johnston will maintain her role at the college as she returns to helming the school — on a part-time basis — that she had led for 26 years prior to her departure in 2019.

Johnston will succeed current Weybridge Elementary Principal Nicole Carter, who will soon transition to her new role as the ACSD’s Director of Equity and Student Services. Carter replaces Vicki Wells, who is stepping down to become principal of Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon.

Johnston was the logical choice for the Weybridge post given her familiarity with the school, Burrows noted in a recent email message to the community.

“Christina brings deep knowledge of the Weybridge community, a nuanced understanding of teaching and learning, an infectious commitment to students and families, and many years of experience leading with compassion and conviction,” Burrows said.

“Look for more information in the weeks ahead as Christina plans for her return and creates opportunities to meet with the community as we plan for the coming year.”

Johnston was the longest-serving principal in the nine-school ACSD when she left two years ago. She could also become Weybridge Elementary’s final principal, as the school has tentatively been targeted for closure as part of a consolidation plan that’s been temporarily tabled by the ACSD board. Weybridge residents on Jan. 12 rejected, by a 190-119 margin, a petitioned referendum asking residents if they wanted their town to withdraw from the ACSD as a means of preserving its local school. Ripton approved such a question on the same date, and is slated to plead its case before the Vermont State Board of Education on May 19.

But right now, Johnston is eager to take her familiar spot at her old stomping grounds.

“I am thrilled to return to Weybridge as principal,” she stated in an email exchange with the Independent. “When hearing that Nicole Carter, the current principal, was moving into the ACSD Equity and Student Services position, the idea of returning to Weybridge in a part-time capacity surfaced for me. I am deeply connected to the community, and I believe I can be of service again as its future unfolds. Because of my abiding ties, I believe I am uniquely qualified to envision with the community, adults and children alike, a way forward that will honor the special place Weybridge Elementary School is and has been.”

She believes her Middlebury College job will allow her to become an even bigger asset to the school.

“I am also flat-out excited to return to the school to be with children, to learn and play alongside them and also to resume collaboration and learning with the staff,” she said. “Because I will continue my position at Middlebury College, I have thought carefully about how the two positions can complement one another and build on an already vibrant partnership between ACSD and the college. My position in the Education Studies Program at the college has afforded me the privilege of working closely with profoundly thoughtful colleagues and aspiring (and inspiring) young teachers, as well as time to deepen and clarify my thinking about what matters in education. I look forward to sharing what I have learned and thought about. I’m truly looking forward to sitting with the staff, students and families to shape and begin the work ahead.”

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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