Sunderland gets new principal

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As of July 1, Jennifer Turner will serve as Sunderland Elementary School's new principal and will take over for Skyler LaBombard.

The announcement comes out of the May 1 Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union meeting.

LaBombard has been appointed to director of teaching and learning for all six BRSU schools.

The current principal was appointed to the position two years ago, as a first-time administrator, after teaching second, fifth and sixth grades within seven years at Pownal Elementary School.

"I am looking forward to continuing to work with the administrators of the BRSU and listening and taking action on the needs of our educators so that they may best serve our students," LaBombard said. "Providing continuing development and growth for our teachers will undoubtedly increase student engagement and achievement and equip students with the 21st century skills that they will need to be successful."

While having enjoyed his time spent at Sunderland, LaBombard added that having a larger impact on institutional changes with proficiency-based learning models is what he's looking forward to, as well as to continue to be a lifelong learner.

LaBombard has worked with Turner on and off over the last two years and expects she'll have a smooth transition into the 2018 school year.

"Jenn is a highly respected educator who has plenty of experience in our school system," LaBombard said. "Sunderland is a special place and the community is very fortunate to have such an outstanding staff at the school. I can honestly say that I learned something from every single staff member that I was fortunate enough to supervise. In fact, if my new position didn't allow me to continue to work with them in some capacity, I likely wouldn't have decided to move on."

Turner spent the last five years coaching math in all six schools of the BRSU. Prior to that, she taught kindergarten for 16 years, nine of which took place at Currier Memorial School in Danby, according to a release from the BRSU.

While working closely with LaBombard, she decided she had what it took to take on the new role as principal.

"Sunderland is a great community," Turner said. "Most of my career has been in small, elementary schools. I look forward to getting to know all the children, families and community members. I already know most of the faculty and staff and having the opportunity to collaborate with them is going to be great. Taking on the role of principal is going to allow me to be part of one learning community again and I value that connection."

Teaching became a natural progression for Turner once she volunteered to work on the Special Olympics around age 15, the release stated. It drew her into the idea of community service, in the context of her service in education.

"My career in education has brought me deep satisfaction," she said. "The last five years I have worked with children, teachers and principals across six schools as the mathematics coach and I have learned so much from everyone. Sunderland Elementary has a great reputation and I want to learn from all the people who know the history of the school. They will be my best asset to help continue the success that they have worked hard to achieve."

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