On February 21, 2018 the HUUSD Board approved the unanimous recommendation of the 15 person hiring team to appoint interim Principal Sam Krotinger to Assistant Principal beginning July 1, 2018. The team, comprised of two student representatives, two school board representatives, four community members, two teachers, two support staff, the Director of Curriculum, Principal Lisa Atwood, and Superintendent Brigid Nease reviewed all seventeen applications and narrowed the field to four for interviews. Interviews were conducted on Monday February 19th, with follow up interviews on the 20th. While Krotinger had no prior experience as a school principal, after the second round it was clear that his experience as interim since July 1, 2017 gave him an uncompromised edge. The committee felt none of the other candidates would be able to provide what Mr. Krotinger could for Harwood. Therefore, the committee put forth the recommendation that Mr. Krotinger be hired as an assistant principal to work with Lisa Atwood, principal, for the next two years. Principal Atwood has already announced her anticipated retirement in 2020. It is expected that a new search will begin for two Co-Principals in winter of 2020.
Krotinger has worked at Harwood since the fall of 2000 as the digital media educator. In 2015, Sam joined the Leadership team at Harwood and worked closely with Amy Rex who resigned her position in June of last year. Sam has also served on the district level leadership team since its inception, and provides additional support as the lead of the district-wide Visual Arts group. Krotinger completed his degree in Educational Leadership at Castleton College and St Michael’s College, obtaining his administrative endorsement on completion of this program. Despite receiving this endorsement, Krotinger was not interested in leaving HU to begin his career in administration elsewhere. “I live in this community and believe in the irrefutable excellence of our schools. After eighteen years of dedicated service, it is an honor to continue to serve this community in my new role as assistant principal”
Sam grew up in the Berkshires, and went to high school in Massachusetts while his parents worked in a rural hospital in Haiti. When his family returned to the US, he moved to Vermont, where he attended the University of Vermont as a studio art major/comparative religion minor. After graduation in 1996, Sam lived in New York City and Portland Oregon, working in fashion photography and digital imaging. Sam moved back to Vermont in 1998 and received his first Masters degree in Curriculum & Instruction from UVM in 2000, completing student teaching at Essex High School. Sam began teaching digital media in Harwood's visual art department in the fall of 2000. He received his Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Art from the Art Institute of Boston in 2009..
Mr. Krotinger will join administrative team members Principal Atwood and Director of Support Services Michael Woods in building a leadership model for Harwood that capitalizes on each contributing member’s strengths as they look into planning for next school year, all while finishing the current year without interruption. “Eliminating a difficult transition will be much easier on students and staff”, says Director of Curriculum, Sheila Soule, “Sam has the backstory and the skills to continue the successful implementation of Proficiency-Based Learning”. Superintendent Nease strongly believes that cultivating leadership from within our organization is truly a best practice where ongoing mentoring and coaching can occur. Says Nease, “We are very fortunate to have Sam’s dedicated and intentional leadership emerge from within our school”.