Message from Heidi Cook: September 5, 2017

Dear Baldwin Families,

Hello! I hope you’re having a wonderful summer! I’m truly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead such a wonderful school. I’ve been getting acclimated throughout this month and I’ve slowly been gaining access to various tools and information. I’m excited that I now have access to your email contact information and can communicate with you!

It’s nice to know a bit about the person leading your child’s school, so let me start with a little personal introduction. I’m a proud mom of three little boys (21 month old twins and a 4 year old). My oldest is entering JK at the Tobin School. My husband, Justin, is trained as an architect, is on the Faculty of Rhode Island School of Design and consults and writes on strategic design. Professionally and personally, I like to work hard and play hard and have fun. In schools, I think work and play are both very important to finding success with students, engaging parents and sustaining exceptional educators. I take my job very seriously, but try not to take myself too seriously, and I work with a positive can-do attitude and a sense of humor. At home, I try to instill habits that allow my boys to enjoy and appreciate the world around them and to help when there is a need. I can’t help but bring these same values to my professional work. I hope you will agree that these are positive passions that shape the important work of growing young learners and stewards. As a mom and as a principal, my goal is to cultivate healthy, happy, open, thoughtful, smart kids. 

So far, I’ve been working hard to hold lots of listening meetings with teachers and also central office staff. I’ve been working closely with the talented John Roderick, who is able to provide such great consistency through this principal transition! I’ve also reviewed a number of documents and pieces of information to get up to speed. 

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing from me with a detailed entry plan that provides specific information about some of the things I’ll do to help ensure a transparent entry process that allows me to learn all I can about this vibrant school community. I know that there are so many amazing things I will learn about the Maria L. Baldwin School, and as with any school, there are areas of growth. Gaining a deep understanding of the community will help ensure that I can support those things that work well and that I can lead improvement efforts over time that will be lasting. Part of my entry plan will include a formal invitation for you to meet with me. But, for now, if you have an outstanding concern or question, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email. Email is the best way to reach me over the summer, but you can also call me at 617.349.6525.

Now that I can write to you, I also want to provide you with a few staffing updates:

First, as some of you may know, the beloved Adam Epstein resigned his position as K-2 music teacher in late June. He is a real loss to the community. I am excited to report that after a broad search and interview process that included me and other Baldwin staff, we have hired a Kodaly trained teacher for the role: Ms. Jenie Song. She is a talented and experienced music educator and I am thrilled to have her on board!

Also, I want to welcome Erin Spencer, who will join our staff in a new role for the 2017-18 School Year: part time Social Worker. Erin will be supporting our entire school with Social Emotional Learning--spending much of her time working with whole classes to help students develop the core social emotional competencies we want children to have. Erin comes from Lowell with lots of experience. 

Finally, I wanted to let families that know that JK/K teacher, Kristin Kaye has resigned. We are happy to support her desire to be at home with her family full time, though she is a real loss to our Kindergarten team. We are in the middle of the hiring process for the new JK/Kindergarten teacher and the pool is strong! The interview process has included a large team of teachers and staff as well as a parent. I will keep the parents in that classroom posted as the hiring of the new teacher is finalized.

I have had the chance to meet a number of parents and students already, and I look forward to meeting the rest of you in the fall and working closely with you to support your children. Enjoy the rest of the summer and I’ll send out more communications soon. Please tell your kids that Ms. Heidi looks forward to welcoming them back to a new school year full of fun and learning!

My Best,