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New principal brings energy, enthusiasm to Sanbornton Central

Bonnie Jean Kuras is one of the smiling new faces of the Winnisquam Regional School District, stepping into her new role as principal of Sanbornton Central School this past July. Kuras eagerly looks forward to welcoming children back to school at the end of the month with some exciting plans for a great year. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 17, 2011
SANBORNTON — When the boys and girls pile off the first school bus at Sanbornton Central School on Aug. 29, they will be greeted by the smiling face of their new principal, Bonnie Jean Kuras.

Kuras comes to SCS from her last role as principal of Alton Central School, where she worked for four years, instituted a lunch time reading program with students, and generally enjoyed their growth and learning experiences.

"I'm really happy to be here in Sanbornton now, however. I just love the size of this community, and the people I've met so far. It's beautiful here, and there's just a great feel to the area," Kuras said.

Beginning her new duties on July 1, Kuras said she has been fortunate to have already met a lot of her students and their parents over the summer. She has attended activities with the Sanbornton Recreation Department's summer camp program, met with the Parent Teacher Organization, and even attended Old Home Day in the town.

"It's been great to ride around and get to meet people and learn more about Sanbornton," said Kuras.

She brings with her a storied background as an elementary school teacher who holds a Bachelor's degree in Special Education, as a learning and language disabilities specialist. Kuras has served as an adjunct professor at New England College and Franklin Pierce University on nights and weekends, and was also an assistant principal in Hudson.

It was during her time in Hudson when she felt she was finally ready to step up as a principal, and moved on to the Alton Central School.

During her time teaching in the southern part of the state, Kuras also found a unique way of expanding her communication skills, something vital in the world of education.

"I had a radio program for a year on Cool 96.5 out of Manchester, which is off the air now. I like to dabble in different things, and being in radio was a lot of fun for me," she said.

That experience has given her many ideas on how she can better her communication with parents and students, and Kuras is excited to start a blog, and even a Principal's Podcast about events and educational experiences at SCS.

"I want parents to know what we are doing in our building, and why we do it," said Kuras. "This school, the teachers, staff and students, isn't just all about the ABC's. There's more to it than that. It's who we are in the community, too."

Her podcasts will not be all her own, however, as she plans on making it yet another educational component for students. She hopes to offer the opportunity to have many of them participate in the experience and expand some of their technical skills, among other facets of learning.

Communication will also top her list with the faculty and staff at SCS. Kuras sees herself as a conduit to let others know what happens in the classrooms at the school, and therefore hopes to receive a lot of feedback from teachers and their assistants on what they do, and how she can get that information out to others. She looks forward to becoming familiar with the "wealth of expertise" at SCS, as well as in the Winnisquam Regional School District. From there, she will determine where she fits into those components and can do the most good.

"Most of all, we need to celebrate what these teachers are all doing," said Kuras.

Besides the school itself, she is also enthusiastic about the district as a whole. She has appreciated the team of administrators at Union-Sanborn and Southwick Schools, calling them "great mentors" over the summer months, as she settled into her new job.

Kuras also credited school Superintendent Dr. Tammy Davis for attracting a great team of educators and developing an exciting plan for the future of the district.

"The best piece for me is being able to focus on the district's goals and work with everyone to move students in a direction where they're performing at their peak. Where we're all performing at our peak. Tammy's a strong superintendent who's defining a path for us all, and I'm excited to help drive home her message," said Kuras.

The self-proclaimed "New Kid on the Block" is looking forward to that opening day and a year of reading to children, enjoying activities and getting to know everyone who walks through the doors of the school. Her first newsletter has already gone out to families, and is available on the school's Web site. In it, she closes her first greeting by saying she looks forward to getting to know the families of SCS.

"Please expect to hear from me throughout the first month of school," she wrote. "You never know when I am going to reach out to check in. Three cheers to the start of the new year!"

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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