BRIDGEWATER-ROXBURY-WASHINGTON — Shepaug Valley School welcomed new vice principal Michael Croft who is no stranger to the district and already has plans to instill his ideas of creating a stronger and tighter community connection. Mr. Croft originally began his career in Region 12 as a social studies teacher from 2002-11 before moving to Region 1 to serve as principal at Cornwall Consolidated School.
He told Voices via a phone interview he is eager to re-learn about Shepaug due to the many changes to the school since he left.
“Shepaug is a great school and a terrific place to work,” said Mr. Croft. “I’m impressed with the quality of education, the teachers, everything.”
Throughout the interview with Voices, Mr. Croft relayed his excitement to jump back into the district, which also serves as his home base. He said he wants to be personally involved with the quality of education.
He noted that when he left Region 12, the middle and high schools were still separate. He said he doesn’t have too much experience with agriscience, but is looking forward to learning more and working with the new Agriscience STEM Academy at Shepaug, which officially opens its doors late August.
“I’m looking forward to work with people I knew from my time in Region 12 and the new staff that have come in as well,” said Mr. Croft. “They are wonderful educators.”
He explained his personal philosophy includes the importance of building a sense of community with residents and the school. He said during his time in Region 1 he made sure to expand the school community, which was essential to the growth of the district.
He added that he wants to make sure both teachers and students are excited about learning. He said by supporting their ideas and energy many new ideas can come into fruition. Learning and motivation are the key factors he wants to help shape.
Supporting people’s passions are essential to success, according to Mr. Croft. His work at Region 1 involved bringing the local community and the school together, which he described as no easy task since he worked with seven different boards of education. The Region 1 community consists of six towns, Salisbury, Canaan, North Canaan, Sharon, Cornwall and Kent.
“It will be different to work with a team of administrators within the one school district,” said Mr. Croft. “There is a lot of local control by residents in Region 12.”
He highlighted that he is excited to work in his hometown and is thrilled to be part of Shepaug and the Agriscience STEM program. He called it an exciting time to be part of Shepaug.