The administration at Milton Elementary School underwent a major change this year, with a restructuring accompanied by the addition of two new staff and job changes for two current school staff.
Anissa Seguin, formerly the principal of Bakersfield Elementary and Middle School, became the principal in a shift from two co-principals to one principal with assistants.
Sequin told the Independent it was the promise of working with a team that brought her to Milton.
In Bakersfield, Seguin was the only administrator in the building.
In Milton, she has two assistant principals and an early education coordinator all focused on different grade levels.
Justin Lee is the early education coordinator, working with Pre-K and kindergarten. Kylene Flowers is an assistant principal with a focus on grades 1 and 2. Both have worked at the school for years, although they are new to these particular jobs.
Fieh Chan is the assistant principal with a focus on grades 3 and 4. Like Seguin, Chan is new to Milton.
Staff isn’t the only change at Milton Elementary. The district is committed to bringing restorative practices to the elementary school and adopting a model which focuses on the social-emotional learning and wellness of a child as well as academics, an approach they refer to as the whole child.
The Milton School District has struggled in recent years with issues of bullying and hazing. Adopting restorative practices and focusing on social-emotional learning are both part of addressing climate and culture in the district.
“We’re going to keep every kid safe here. That’s our job,” said Seguin. “We are going to take ownership of what happens. We’re going to give teachers the tools they need to address behaviors or bullying or anything.”
Lee, who has worked at the school since 2000 as a speech language pathologist, told the Independent she was excited about her new position. “I think we have a model that is going to mean great things for our building.”
Flowers is another veteran Milton Elementary teacher taking on a new role. This is her 17th year at the school. Last year she was the K-5 math coach, after many years as a classroom teacher.
“It’s been really positive,” Flowers said of the change. “The staff has been really supportive. The work we’ve been doing… has been really inspiring.”
Chan, the assistant principal focused on grades three and four, is originally from Washington, D.C. He moved to Vermont in 2004, working as a math teacher in Rutland before moving to the tech center to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
“The majority of my work is about culture and climate and working with students,” said Chan.
“It’s really about giving students exposure and tools to be successful, whatever that means for them,” he added, noting that success looks different for every student based on what they ultimately want to do.