Assistant principal to be school’s new leader
By Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | May 05,2014
When she isn’t spinning alpaca fiber or climbing Mayan ruins in Mexico, assistant principal Kristin Holsman-Francoeur is climbing the professional ladder of the Rutland Middle School.
On July 1, Holsman-Francoeur will leave behind her current job of assistant principal and make the leap to principal of Rutland Middle School.
And she couldn’t be more excited.
“I’m thrilled to be a larger part of the continued progress of Rutland City schools,” Holsman-Francoeur said. Her office is home to neatly stacked papers, photos of alpacas and a hidden stash of chocolate, location known to only a select few, because “sometimes you just need chocolate.”
Born in Massachusetts, the self-proclaimed Vermonter attended Middlebury College, and became a Spanish language teacher shortly after an inspiring trip to Spain. Although she loved teaching, she was more drawn to the administration aspect of the school district and wanted the chance to become a leader.
“I love the age of middle schoolers,” she said. “They’re so honest and passionate, but also vulnerable. I want to empower these kids and make sure that every one of them feels safe and valued.” The main thing Holsman-Francoeur misses about teaching, she said, is that light-bulb moment students get when they finally understand the language.
Holsman-Francoeur added that working with this age group can be tough because their brains are undergoing so many different changes, causing so many different reactions and feelings towards situations. “They need to know adults care,” she said. “That will make their middle school experience a stronger, healthier one. It’s can be a challenge to do so.”
But she is always up for a challenge.
“One thing I really love about working here is that no two days are ever the same.”
Once she takes over the job in July, her summer will be packed with a workload of planning and developing a new office team. That includes finding a replacement for her current job as assistant principal, a task she might find a little difficult.
“It might be hard letting go of some of my old responsibilities,” laughed Holsman-Francoeur.
Current Principal Wil Cunningham is more than confident that she is the right person to take on a brand new set of responsibilities.
“She is terrific for this, terrific in every aspect of the field.” Cunningham said. Although he has mixed feelings about his own retirement, he is excited for her new journey to start after he leaves.
“She is full of empathy and compassion, I know she’ll be an outstanding principal.”