The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 24, 2006


Christine Price, candidate for Elementary School Principal

Photo by Mollie McPhee Ho
"This is a great place," said Elementary School Principal candidate Christine Price at a meeting with parents on Thursday, March 16. After being introduced by moderators Dale Ryder and Alex Krapf, Price positioned herself in front of the head table in order to be closer to the more than 50 parents gathered in the Corey Dining Room. She humorously warned the crowd that she tended to "over talk" when answering questions, and would try to "explain things in bullet points." Price has worked at the Belmont Day School, a private school in Belmont, since 1987 and is currently the Curriculum Development Coordinator and Coordinator for Pre-K and K. She has her Ph.D. and M.Ed. from Lesley University in Cambridge, and a B.A. from Wells College in New York. She has taught early childhood education courses at Lesley University.

Krapf, reading from a series of questions submitted previously by parents, first asked Price to give reasons why she felt she was the best candidate for the position of Elementary School Principal. She answered that she has many years experience. "I have a lot of miles on my motor," she added. She lives in Concord, knows the area well, and many of her favorite places to go are in Carlisle.

Pointing out that she doesn't have experience as a full-time principal, Krapf asked what she would tell parents to let them know she is qualified. She said she always works in collaboration, and that she can "take the heat." She said the co-principal model is superior to a single principal model. "A single principal model is a challenge," she said, saying it is a lonely position.

Price, answering a question about shifting from a private to a public school, said she would rely on Marie Doyle to come up to speed with all the differences such as MCAS and SPED. The MCAS should be one of many tools used to evaluate students.

Krapf asked her how she would help resolve issues that could occur between a teacher and a parent. "I am pro-active in communication," she responded. She would encourage parties involved to "come to the table, and figure out what is best for the child." She would expect everything to be done with respect, and that "all are on the same page."

In answering what parents and the staff can expect she said, "I will listen." The teachers will see that she views her job as helping them to do their jobs."Parents should know I have a long view, and I will be there to hear and maintain communication."

Asked what "excellence in education" meant to her, Price replied she would like teachers and parents to recognize that learning takes practice. "Kids need to know what excellence looks like," she added, and younger teachers need to know, too. She said excellence needs to be modeled.

Price, asked about her long-term vision for students on IEPs (Individualized Education Plan), said it was hard to address because it is based on an individual. She said she would expect the team would keep revisiting the IEP, reviewing it on a daily basis, asking if the plan is working or if another approach might be appropriate. "My role is to look at the plan, to look at the IEP," she said. "I'm a tinkerer."

Kraft asked Price her views on discipline, and at what point she felt the police would have to be involved in student issues. She replied that her goal was to have every child know that every adult knows them — that it is a "two-way street." She wants the message to be, "No one will hurt you, and you don't hurt anyone." She said misbehavior "often stems from not buying into the community," or feeling unconnected with others. The actions that are not negotiable, she said, are violence, abuse, and neglect. She said she would work closely with Marie.

Price was asked about how she would deal with teasing, bullying, and comments about racial backgrounds. She said she would bring the bully and the victim together, if possible, to discuss the issue. She said she would not accept a "knee-jerk" apology from the bully, since it never actually resolves the hurt in the victim but instead would encourage a conversation with the victim. Another part of her approach is to insure that the adults in the community not tolerate any teasing or bullying, and model the behavior expected from the students. "If adults are not respectful, then the kids learn to be disrespectful."

The final question Kraft asked was about what Price's expectation of the parents in the Carlisle community. Price would like to see a community partnership, and not an adversary relationship. She said she didn't expect there to be no problems or disagreements, but "we will work it out."

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito