First Day of School: A New Principal's Perspective



As a UVEI principal intern, Lenny Badeau had been teaching Humanities at the Milton Middle School (in Milton, VT) four years.  During his internship, he dedicated himself to breaking down the barriers that prevent teachers from learning from one another, using the Learning Walks protocol to stimulate an open culture and create collegial engagement in his school.  Now Lenny is a new principal.  This interview between Lenny and Nan Parsons, UVEI’s Associate Director for School Leadership, took place on September 15, 2016, just after his first day of school:

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Learning and growing as a leader, and having the chance to make positive impacts on the lives of my students, faculty and community.

What are you or have you been carrying into this role from your work at UVEI?

The three most important things I learned at UVEI are:  relationships, relationships, relationships

Building trust with the faculty, staff and the community is an uppermost priority.  I also want to work with everyone in the building on practices and solutions to common problems and identify potential leaders and innovators.

​What do you see as your top priorities for staff and students this year?

We are working on improving our implementation of MTSS (multi-tiered system of supports) at Folsom.  Most notably, we are working on improving our behavior management system to improve the culture and climate of our school, increase focused learning time while lowering the amount of learning lost due to behavior issues.   We are also working on the implementation of intervention blocks to address Tier II and III student needs while providing opportunities for advance students to further extend their skills.

Underlying all of this (and this goes back to what I learned at UVEI), my main goal this year is to build trust- based relationships and to learn about the strengths and needs of my staff, students and community.  I am dedicating a lot of my time and resources to communicating, listening and focusing on leveraging any opportunity available to demonstrate my capacity to support people as they persist in their efforts to grow, master new initiatives, and improve teaching and learning.

Tell us about the photo.

That’s me “supervising" the K- 4 recess. There were a handful of little ones who seemed restless and were not making smart choices on the playground so I directed their energy into having them "teach" me how to use the super cool balance beams. This eventually became a fun game of follow the leader, with different challenges each time we went on a beam.


Leonard Badeau graduated from the UVEI Principal Intern Program in 2016 and is the new principal at Folsom Education and Community Center in South Hero, VT.