CORNWALL — Susan M. Hackett, a Rutland County educator and past principal of the Plymouth and Sunderland elementary schools, has been named the new top administrator of Cornwall’s Bingham Memorial School.
“I’m thrilled,” Hackett, 53, said in reaction to accepting the job, extended to her by the Cornwall School Board Thursday evening after a thorough interview.
“I think the school is a wonderful match for me.”
The Cornwall Search Committee received 28 applications for the job, soon to be vacated by current Principal Denise Goodnow, who will become co-principal of the Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury. Hackett emerged as the top choice.
A Proctor resident, Hackett currently works as a reading intervention teacher at the Rutland Town School and as afterschool site coordinator at the Clarendon Elementary School. She is no stranger to this area, having served as director of the Addison County branch of the Building Bright Futures early childhood program from August 2007 until March of 2009.
She’s happy to return to the area and head a school with which she is very impressed. Hackett made a daylong visit to Bingham Memorial School on June 4, during which she sat in on classes in each grade and met with community members. During that visit she encountered what she said were caring, enthusiastic and high-achieving students; a “dedicated and knowledgeable staff”; and parents and community members who are clearly invested in their local school.
“I was very impressed with the involvement of the community,” Hackett said.
While she will serve primarily as an administrator at Bingham Memorial, Hackett is prepared to do some substitute teaching and fulfill other roles when called upon.
“At small schools, you need to jump in as needed,” Hackett said. “You wear many hats.”
She and her husband Jimmy, an electrician, will continue to live in Proctor with their dog, Seamus. Hackett officially begins her two-year Cornwall contract on July 1.
She’s eager to get to work with what she perceives as a very inquisitive student body.
“The students here really want to come to school,” Hackett said. “What more could a principal ask for?”
Cornwall School Board Co-chairwoman Maureen Deppman said she was impressed with Hackett’s background and interview on Thursday.
“Susan has an extensive background in education and an understanding and knowledge of the Common Core,” she said, referring to a set of education standards. “She understands the key elements in relationships between and among students, teachers and parents. I was impressed at the parent meeting that Susan was able to remember names and interests of our children from her daylong visit. Susan is student-focused and approaches each scenario with care and student learning at the center.
“She has strong curriculum-development skills and experience with supervision and evaluation of teachers. Susan clearly displayed her sense of humor and her commitment to teaching, leading and learning. She is reflective in her practice and willing to learn from her own experiences and others. Susan was knowledgeable of our school. She is willing to discuss new ideas while also preserving the culture of the Cornwall school.
“Her skills and abilities shared in the interview process clearly matched the criteria of the hiring committee,” Deppman continued.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected]