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Friday, October 18, 2019

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Rivendell Appoints New Principals

May 30, 2019
Dear Rivendell Community,
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Lindemann as principal of Samuel Morey Elementary School and Timm Judas as principal of Westshire Elementary School effective July 1, 2019. Many thanks to all who helped with the search process.

The board decided at its April 4th meeting to return to the model of one principal dedicated to each school. The 13-person search committee was charged with finding two leaders to work as peers in making our schools the best they can be. The committee met with teachers, parents, and community members to identify what to look for in a candidate. Communication and interpersonal skills ranked high on the list, along with a demonstrated capacity to solve problems and build trust. School climate, behavior, and instructional leadership were also common themes. The committee looked through applications, conducted initial interviews, and set up a schedule for each of the finalists to spend a full day at the schools. This process played out over several weeks with the first two candidates visiting May 6th and the final two May 22nd. (If it feels like you’ve been waiting for a long time for an official announcement, you are right!) Reference checking started as soon as each finalist was identified. After each round of visits, the committee met to review feedback from teachers, staff, parents, community members and share what was learned from reference-checking. While some conversations took longer than others, the committee made the unanimous decision to recommend these two candidates to the school board.

Steve Lindemann started his education career teaching English to prospective baseball players, first in the Dominican Republic and then in the US working for the LA Dodgers. Shifting to elementary school education, he taught Kindergarten, 1st grade and 4th grade in Potsdam NY, before moving to VT and teaching 5th/6th grade math and science for 17 years. He became the assistant principal at Mary Hogan Elementary School in Middlebury in 2013 and served as interim principal this past year. He holds masters degrees in international management, elementary education, and educational leadership.

Timm Judas was the art teacher at Newbury Elementary School for eight years before teaching art and music at Oxbow for fifteen years. Throughout that time he worked to integrate arts across the curriculum and connect with rural community histories. He was involved in numerous school and community projects including a preschool, after-school programs, and theater and music productions. While teaching at Oxbow, he completed a masters degree and advanced graduate work in art education at Plymouth State. Since 2012 he has been teaching art education at Plymouth State and currently serves as the coordinator of graduate and undergraduate art education programs.

While changes in leadership can be challenging, we see this as an exciting opportunity to assemble a team of exceptional leaders to move the district forward. We look forward to working with this team.

Sincerely,
The Rivendell School Board