Sunnyside Principal moves on
After working as the principal of Sunnyside Elementary School for the past thirteen years, Elaine Baylis Creary is moving on. As of July 1st she officially becomes the principal of both North Hatley Elementary School and Magog’s Princess Elizabeth
Elementary School, a move decided by the school board.
“I’m kind of sad about it because I didn’t choose to go to a new school. I wanted to stay here,” said Mrs. Baylis Creary in an interview with the Stanstead Journal. “I’ve really enjoyed working here. We have not had a big turnover of teachers and we’ve welcomed the new, younger teachers and their new ideas. We’re like a family here: if someone has a difficult day, people are there to support you. It makes the job fun,” she added.
“When the grade six students graduate next week, it will be my last graduation here with the students,” said the principal, getting a little misty. “The job can be emotionally draining, too. It’s important to care about the family, the children and the staff and it’s important for the students to know their principal.”
Mrs. Baylis Creary enjoys the “creative side” of being a principal. “I like to look at how things are done and organized and how to change for the better. I like giving things a little shake!” Researching ‘best practices’ and interventions in schools is another aspect of the job that she enjoys. “For the last three years here, the staff as a team has studied the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and his Attachment Theory,” explained Elaine. The staff will also study one chosen book a year, this year it was “Ignite Student Learning” by Dr. Judy Willis, discuss it and share how they see the information impacting the classroom.
Commenting on the recent grant the school received from the Tillotson Coaticook Region Fund, Mrs. Baylis Creary spoke enthusiastically about the new play area the staff would like to get built, seeming to momentarily forget that she would not be part of that project. “It’s a new kind of playground that mimics the natural environment,” she said.
As the July 1st date approaches, when the changes in school administrations goes into effect and the principals move to their new schools if they have been reassigned, as many were this time, Mrs. Baylis Creary will be busy. “We’re normally very busy in June with the yearend events. I’ll also be finding out about the two schools; Princess Elizabeth has a Community Learning Centre and a Day Care, so that will be new for me. There’s a whole adaptation for everyone to go through.” She will also be introducing Sunnyside to its new principal: former North Hatley Elementary and Ayer’s Cliff Elementary principal Steve Weary. (Mr. Weary will remain principal of Ayer’s Cliff) “I want to help make a smooth start for him.”
“I’m also going to really miss my job with Complementary Educational Services at the School Board,” mentioned Mrs. Baylis Creary. That position, which was related to students with special needs, will be abolished at the end of this school year. Since she began working in the field of education, Elaine has been involved with students with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. Beginning her teaching career at the Butters Home and at the Dixville Home, she later started The Learning Centre, worked with the
for seven years and with Complementary Educational Services for many years. “I loved going to schools and helping them organize their schools for special education. That would have a positive impact on the ability of special needs students to move ahead and learn.”
After breaking the news of her departure to the students, Mrs. Baylis Creary was approached, understandably, by some of her young charges. “Some of the students have asked me, individually, why I’m leaving. I’ve explained that it’s not because I wanted to leave them,” she commented a little sadly.
“I just love the students here. We get a real feeling of accomplishment when we see the students move forward academically or socially; I’m very attached to them. My goal for each of the students is for them to be a high school graduate. Some face difficult things in their lives; we have to help find solutions so they can come to school and focus. It should be fun to be at school and fun to learn.
The teachers here are a wonderful group who work together well. Because they are so creative, we have musicians, dancers and singers, they have great ideas, they’re enthusiastic and very positive,” concluded the principal.
Sunnyside’s outgoing principal, Elaine Baylis Creary, gets a few students spinning at Beebe Memorial Park, last Friday, when the school took their annual walk to Beebe.
After directing Sunnyside Elementary School for thirteen years, Elaine Baylis-Creary is moving on to be the principal of North Hatley Elementary and Princes Elizabeth Elementary School.