ROCKPORT — Camden-Rockport Elementary School assistant principal Shawna Kurr is leaving the Rockport-based school this summer to climb the administrative ranks.
At a June 25 school board meeting, the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor CSD School Committee members voted 5-1 to hire Kurr as principal of Boothbay Region Elementary School.
Kurr, a graduate of Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, received a bachelor’s in special education K-8 with a specialization in emotional disturbance from the University of Maine at Farmington and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine.
As an assistant principal for 14 years, including seven years in Rockport, Kurr has known for a few years, she said, she is ready personally and professionally to become a principal, though she maintained high standards for her future school and community.
Boothbay, she said, has a school system that she has kept an eye on for years.
“I have noticed that Boothbay cares about professional growth, which is paramount for me,” she stated. “Most importantly, I was looking for a small community school that cares about and supports its schools and a place I could call home.”
As the new Boothbay Region Elementary School principal, Kurr noted official goals and vision for next year will come from within.
“I will take this year to learn and listen, then together with our school community, we will move forward with our collective vision of what education should look like in Boothbay,” she said.
One educational approach that Kurr is passionate about is Placed Based Education.
“In its simplest form, it's getting the community in our school and getting our school in the community,” she said. “ It's about students learning by solving real world problems and being part of their community,” she stated. “It's a fact that when people feel a deep sense of place and community they thrive. My goal and vision is to help our community be the best it can be, and to provide an opportunity for all students to feel success and be a part of something great.”
Asked to react to the Boothbay Register June 25 article detailing community members’ concerns of the school board’s approval of Kurr rather than current Boothbay Region Elementary School assistant principal Tricia Campbell, Kurr noted the community’s reaction is one of the reasons she has eyed Boothbay over the years.
“It’s a tight community, they look out for one another, if one is hurting it affects them all,” she said. “I am excited to become a part of that tight knit community. I care about children, public education, and being a part of something for the greater good.”
When the dust is settled, Kurr is confident she will earn approval from the concerned community members.
“I trust that once the community meets and gets to know me, they will appreciate what I bring to the table,” she said. “Right now, for the community, it's the fear of the unknown which I understand. I've been there before as a teacher, administrator, and parent. I'm looking forward to learning and growing alongside the Boothbay school community. I'm thrilled to be a part of this community — this is a dream come true for me!”
Reach George Harvey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.