I’m supposed to be’
By Ashlee Oakley
The Springville community is welcoming yet another new addition to the Springville Griffith Institute Central School District’s administrative team: Middle School Principal Shanda DuClon.
DuClon was born in Arcade, is an alumnus of SGI and currently resides in Delevan, so she has been a part of the local community her entire life. When she saw the posting for a new Springville Middle School principal, DuClon said, “I had to apply. I thought, what a great opportunity to be a part of this exciting time here in Springville. I am so happy to be back home.”
After graduating from SGI in 1998, Duclon attended college at SUNY Fredonia, then Walden University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and then a Masters in Educational Leadership from Niagara University.
She began her teaching career in 2002 at Cuba-Rushford Central School district, beginning in the Elementary buildings teaching band, chorus and general music. Later, she transitioned to the middle/high school where she taught vocal music to grades 6-12. During that time, she was senior class advisor, as well as the Pop-Group Advisor, participating in several county and statewide events.
After a decade at CRCS, she accepted a position at Westfield Academy and Central School as the Elementary school principal for four years.
DuClon is committed to fostering relationships within the community and with Springville’s organizations. She asserts, “Student and family involvement will be the key approach taken here at the middle school. We will work to continue promoting clear communication with the administration. As a new staff member, I welcome feedback from staff, parents, and community members.”
She goes on to point out that middle-school children have important academic, social and emotional needs.
“We are fortunate to have two guidance counselors on staff, as well as a social worker who assists in the building.”
She said these staff members are on hand to proactively communicate with teachers, students and parents to address all of the needs of the children at Springville Middle School. It is encouraged that students approach their problem-solving in a way that is healthy and resolves any issues with their peers or with staff.
DuClon also says that, “As principal, it is important to be a good listener, and a good communicator. Most problems can be solved by talking them through. You also need to be consistent with the boundaries set within the building.”
She says it is important to love your job, and to be present in the students’ lives at school. She recognizes that many times, school staff sees some kids more than their parents may. As a caring person who is unwavering about making her decisions with the kids at the forefront, she guarantees that all students “are the priority within our building.”
The most important lessons in life, DuClon says, are simple. “Be kind. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” That is the attitude she intends to promote at SMS.
DuClon compliments the staff at the school and in the district, “There are so many incredible teachers here at SGI who influenced my life in a positive way; it rings true in the warm welcomes that I have received as I enter my new position.” She adds that several of her former teachers have taken the time to reach out and send cards congratulating her on her new position at the middle school. Her own kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Havens, greeted her at the door with flowers her first week on the job.
DuClon loves the school community and, she says, “I’m most excited to be a part of this new beginning here at SGI under Superintendent Kim Moritz. We have a clear direction and are moving forward as a team. Great things are happening in this community, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. There are so many moments that have taken place over the last three months that have reassured me that this is where I am supposed to be.”
It’s almost football season, and DuClon is an avid Buffalo Bills fan. She and her father have been attending games since she was in elementary school and she and her family still go together to cheer on the Bills. This year, she’ll add a new favorite team as a sports fan: the Springville Griffins!
For any questions or concerns you have for Mrs. DuClon, please see the district website for contact information.