Last night I had the opportunity to go to the retirement party for Michelle Fitzpatrick, principal of the Howe Manning School. Michelle has been in education for 40 years and a principal in Middleton since 1992. She has been recognized by such organizations as Massachusetts Elementary Principals Association (MESPA) as Principal of the Year. Prior to serving at Principal of Pine Glen, (a position I truly love) I worked at the Howe Manning School for two amazing years in special education administration. Michelle was principal of the school and an incredible mentor. One day Michelle called me into her office unannounced to ask me a question. She asked, “What makes us the same?” I immediately thought maybe it was that we both lived in the same town or liked the same ice cream flavor - both of which were incorrect. Michelle told me what made us the same was that we both didn’t just think every child could learn - we knew every child could learn.
I consistently tell parents and write about how we want to develop life long learners at Pine Glen School. The prerequisite to that is that we develop life long learners because we know all students can learn. I know Michelle Fitzpatrick affected and changed many teachers and students lives all with the understanding that education is all about the students. I wish her the best as she starts her retirement and heads down to North Carolina.