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New Academy for Jaffrey-Rindge Staff Creates Stronger Leadership Through District

Twenty-three Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District staff members have graduated from the inaugural cohort of the Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy - a partnership with Keene State College that aims to develop educational leadership throughout the district.

The Academy tasked enrolled staff members to complete five graduate-level college courses

throughout the 2019-20 school year. Sta􀄵 members who completed the Academy represent

different grade levels, subject areas, and schools throughout the district.

“These teachers have added and will continue to add great value to this district because of their hard work, their e􀄵ort, and their vision to improve themselves and become stronger leaders,” said Jaffrey-Rindge Superintendent Reuben Duncan. “We had great representation in the Academy from all of our schools and to me, that’s part of the power of all this learning and work that took place.”

The Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy was born out of conversations had by the Regional

School Leadership Consortium, a group of regional superintendents and Keene State College

representatives that began meeting in 2017 to develop and expand leadership capacity throughout the region. The Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy became the first significant initiative from the Consortium.

“It’s my belief that the development of leadership talent within a district is going to be essential to the future success of schools across the region,” said Stephen Bigaj, Keene State College Professor of Education, Coordinator Graduate Education Programs. “I t is my hope that this Academy will contribute to the district’s ongoing vision for student learning.”

Some Academy graduates have already stepped into larger roles in the district - including

accepting district-level positions or joining a curriculum leadership team - while others have

become stronger leaders in their classrooms.

“One thing we’ve done well in this Academy is we are demystifying what it means to be a leader. You don’t have to be the superintendent or the school principal to be considered a leader,” said Peggy Wozniak, Adjunct Faculty Member and Program Associate for the Southwest Center for Educator Support at Keene State College. “They are truly finding a leader within themselves, within the teacher ranks, and within their classrooms. That is beneficial to the students and the school district.”

Of the 23 graduates of the Academy, ten have elected to continue their education at Keene State College by getting a Master’s or Post-Master’s Degree.

Jaffrey Grade School Kindergarten Teacher Ashley Flamino said she had always desired to further her education but had never found the right opportunity to get started. Now that she has completed the Leadership Academy, she is pushing forward to get her Master’s Degree in

Educational Leadership.

“I have learned to use my voice in a different, more thoughtful way. Utilizing teachers as leaders within the school community is not only valuable, but necessary, as we share similar experiences with our counterparts than our administrators,” Flamino said. “It is a unique opportunity to raise up the voices of our teachers in a meaningful way to better serve our staff and students as a whole.”

Caitlin Shattuck, a Behavioral Specialist at Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School/Conant High School,

said that completing the Academy was a huge accomplishment - given the workload of working full-time on top of completing college courses, raising a family, and dealing with a pandemic - but the desire to become a better leader made it worth it all.

“I love learning and gaining more knowledge in the area of teaching and leadership. I always

wanted to continue in my graduate studies but wasn’t able to with my schedule and finances,”

Shattuck said. “This was a great opportunity that the district provided as it took place at my

school I work in.”

The Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy is already working with a second cohort of nine staff

members from the district. Additionally, those who didn’t complete all courses in the first cohort are eligible to complete their courses this year. Sta􀄵 costs are covered by the school district with the use of Title 2-A grant funds.

The following staff members were recognized during the November 16, 2020 School Board

meeting for completing the Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy:

Kim Aucoin

Morgan Cooper

Heather Dean

Amanda Dibble

Charlotte Elwell

Ashley Flamino

David Fraser

Sarah Graham

Mark Haley

Courtney Lambert

Trisha Layfield

Allison Maher

Kaitlyn McLaughlin

Wanda Meagher

Jenny Meskauskas

James Norby

Anne Marie Osheyack

Amanda Parsons

Megan Perkins

Anna Rizzitano

Caitlyn Shattuck

Shauna Smith

Gretchen Booth-Thibault

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