Sun­ny­side Prin­ci­pal moves on

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

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.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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.

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