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Seth Boyden Welcomes Principal Shannon Glander

Principal Shannon Glander

Seth Boyden’s new principal is longtime South Orange-Maplewood School District teacher and administrator Shannon Glander.  Ms. Glander comes to Seth Boyden from Marshall Elementary, where she was assistant principal from 2015 through early 2018 and then acting principal from February through July.  Interim Superintendent Thomas Ficarra initially named Ms. Glander assistant principal of Seth Boyden this summer and then announced at the Board of Education meeting on August 20 that she would become the new principal.

Ms. Glander began her teaching career in 2005 as a substitute in the SOMSD system.  (She even substituted at Seth Boyden once or twice!)  In 2007, when the second-in-command at Marshall School went on medical leave, Ms. Glander temporarily took over the role.  She went on to teach full-time at Marshall for eight years, first in first grade, then at the second-grade level, before being appointed assistant principal there in 2015 and then acting principal early this year. 

Ms. Glander earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany in women’s studies with a minor in political science and holds an MA in teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson with a focus on reading instruction.

“I’m Really Excited for the Year”

Sitting in the office at Seth Boyden on a recent Friday, Ms. Glander exuded warmth and enthusiasm about her new school.  “I’m really excited for the year,” she said.  “Everyone’s so wonderful here!”  She’s already met some two dozen new Seth Boyden families at the PTA’s kindergarten summer play date.  She’s also been working closely with teachers, including Seth Boyden veteran Sheila Murphy, to ensure a smooth transition and support for this year’s programs.  “That institutional knowledge and history is so important,” she notes

Like the previous principal, Damion Frye, Ms. Glander is a proponent of project-based learning, and she plans to keep some of the innovations introduced during Mr. Frye’s era, such as the African drum circles and the Cardboard Challenge.  She’d like to integrate last year’s elective subjects, including a broad range of STEAM topics, into regular classroom instruction, and to revive some of the clubs that were a hallmark of Principal Mark Quiles’s tenure, such as the hallway knitting group.  She and the PTA will collaborate on mounting another fifth-grade musical next spring.  In the facilities realm, Ms. Glander is working with the district to identify which parts of the Seth Boyden building are in the most urgent need of improvement.

With Seth Boyden’s former assistant principal, Raquel Horn, having assumed the role of Marshall principal, Seth Boyden has not yet learned who its new assistant principal will be.  Interim Superintendent Ficarra has indicated that he will make this announcement by the first day of school.

Author: Alison Poe, SB PTA PR Coordinator