When school began at the end of August, Mispillion Elementary School students were welcomed by a new principal after Susan Donahue resigned her position over the summer. Teresa Wallace accepted the position just the week before school began and was there to greet students as they arrived on the first day of school.
“My hope is to see the students at Mispillion grow not only academically, but socially and emotionally so that they may be successful in their educational career and in life,” Ms. Wallace said. “At Mispillion Elementary, we have a hardworking, committed staff who have the students’ best interest first and I am delighted to be part of the team.”
Ms. Wallace began her career in teaching 19 years ago after working for several years in business. She decided that she needed a more fulfilling career that would allow her to help others. She considered nursing, but was drawn to working with children. Ms. Wallace returned to college and earned a teaching degree, becoming certified in Elementary Education. She began teaching 8th grade at Milford Middle School, hoping to eventually switch to an elementary position.
“I found teaching 8th grade students and working with the middle school staff so rewarding, I stayed there for fifteen years,” Ms. Wallace said. “My long-term goal, however, was to move into an administrative position where I could reach more students and staff to support their needs and ensure best instructional practices in the classroom.” Ms. Wallace earned a Master’s Degree in School Leadership early in her teaching career which enabled her to take on several leadership responsibilities at Milford Middle School and throughout the district.
After the completion of Milford Central Academy, Ms. Wallace was one of the teachers who chose to remain at the Middle School, switching to 7th grade. After the September 30th unit count determined there was a need for additional support in a leadership position at Morris Early Childhood Center, she was asked to accept a position as an assistant principal intern at the school.
“I felt the time was right for me and my family to take on the huge responsibility of being in an administrative position,” Ms. Wallace said. “I joined the staff at Morris and the principal, Beth Conaway, working with the youngest students in the district. After that year, I joined the dedicated staff at Lulu Ross Elementary as the assistant principal, working closely with the principal, Cindy McKenzie. The years as an assistant principal at Ross and Morris were a tremendous learning experience with the staff who will go out of their way to make a difference in a child’s life.”
Ms. Wallace said that getting parents to participate in their children’s education has been one of her biggest challenges. She said many parents face their own challenges when it comes to raising children, so it makes it difficult sometimes for them to be involved. She said that, as educators, teachers see each day how having parents involved in their education makes students more successful.
“Promoting parent involvement is a huge focus in my current role as principal,” Ms. Wallace said. “I look forward to working with Mispillion students, parents and staff as well as the community to provide a variety of opportunities, programs and resources that will support this goal.”