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By Lizzy Hewitt, contributing reporter/editor
Debbie Lesure officially takes over as principal of Moretown Elementary School on July 1, but she was already in her new office on Tuesday.
Lesure, whose background is in school psychology, has been involved in education for about 30 years. She comes to Moretown from a year as interim principal at East Montpelier Elementary School. Prior to that, she spent four years as principal at an elementary school in Antrim, New Hampshire.
Lesure and her husband live in Fayston. They have had a house in the Mad River Valley for 10 years. When she was offered the interim principal position in East Montpelier, they took the opportunity to move here full time.
EXCITED ABOUT LEARNING
"It's already a wonderful school," said Lesure. "I don't envision any big changes. In this first year I want to get to know the school, the kids, and the community. It's a learning experience." Her vision for elementary education in general is to get kids excited about learning. "I want the kids to wake up and want to be here."
East Montpelier Elementary School was the biggest school that Lesure has led. She looks forward to working in a smaller school because of the importance of community. "I think this is pretty much a perfect size. You can know every child."
Several new administrators will be starting in schools across Washington West Supervisory Union school district in the coming months. "I think it offers some exciting opportunities," said Lesure. Waitsfield Elementary School has a new principal, Kaiya Korb. The superintendent, Brigid Scheffert, is also new.
MOST POPULAR QUESTION
In the spring, Lesure spent a day in the school to prepare for the transition. She sat in on classes and started to get to know the kids. The most popular question: "Do you have a dog?" (Yes, she has a hound dog.) Many students were interested in her favorite authors and books. On Field Day, she had a chance to see the children in a different light as they celebrated the end of the school year.
Lesure will use the summer months to become familiar with the school to ease the transition in the fall. "This is a good time to get to know policies and procedures and meet the teachers." She hopes to squeeze in some vacation time to enjoy the Vermont summer.
"It's hard to go in as a one-year principal. I plan to stay put here," Lesure said. "As an elementary school principal, you make an investment in the community. You get to know the people and the town."
When school starts up in the fall, Lesure plans to welcome kids back with an assembly. She will introduce new students, any new staff, and herself to the student body. "I plan to be as visible as I can be over the first weeks," she said.