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|A Clipper Visit: Laurie Hunter|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 28 August 2013 09:14|
As the school year begins, newly appointed assistant superintendent Laurie Hunter has a lot on her plate: a new job, a doctoral dissertation, number intiatives and a rather large move in the future. The Clipper sat down with Hunter to discuss the new year and what students, parents and teachers can expect.
Until July 1, Hunter was the principal at Assawompset Elementary School in Lakeville. For 14 years, she worked with community members, connected to students and watched as the district and children simultaneously grew.
"Through its ups and down I loved that job," she said. "I loved watching the kids come through and beyond the school, to grow and graduate."
This school year, she will commute from Northborough – about 75 miles and a bit over an hour ot Duxbury, on a light traffic day – to tackle professional development and curriculum initiatives. After 14 years in Lakeville, Hunter decided it was time for a change. Being from the middle of the state, she applied both east and west and landed in Duxbury.
"I'm really excited about being her," she said. "The reputation precedes itself and I was lucky enough that this opportunity presented itself.”
Some of Hunter’s priorities will be to focus on the curriculum, work on the strategic plan and integrate technology as a tool for teaching. Together with superintendent Benedict Tantillo, Hunter will be creating a formal curriculum committee, which will consist of teachers, staff, students, parents and community members.
“Dr. Tantillo’s vision is to establish a district-wide committee that has a master view of the curriculum,” she said. “The first thing we will do it prioritize what areas need the attention and go from there.”
With a formalized committee and master view, Hunter is optimistic that constant revi- sions will help keep the curriculum as strong as it currently is. With the parents, community, school committee and staff involved, Hunter said there will be a “good point of communication” between involved
Hunter addressed teachers for the first time on Monday, introducing herself and her "to-do list" of projects and initiatives she would like to take on this year.
"I told the teachers, 'This is our to-do list, but it is the means to and end, not the end in itself," Hunter said.
Before the school year began, Hunter began exploring Duxbury with her family by visiting the Alden House, traveling to the beach and eating ice cream at FarFars. On her way into work every day, she makes a point to drive along the water, which is an exciting thing "for people from the middle of the state."
With two daughters, a sixth grader and an eight grader, Hunter said she is very lucky her girls have always understood her work.
"They are very proud of my work," she said. "They've always understood what I do because its connected to their lives. Even if it wasn't at their school it made sense to them, which is great."
When she's not in school mode, the new assistant superintendent is a fan of mystery and suspense, whether that be through reading, watching DVDs or listening to audio tapes. In addition to her adventurous side, she also directs a hand bell choir at her church.
"It's been a long time thing in my life," she said. "That's what I do for me."
Hunter said she always wanted to be a teacher and has always kept her focus on the kids. As she transforms into the administrative side of the equation, she said she would like to remain connected to the students as much as possible.
"My vision is to take the connections we have with students on a classroom level and do exactly the same on a district level," she said. "That's the challenge. It's a big challenge, but an exciting one."