Staff Excited to Build on Themes of Equity, Engagement, and Deep Learning
Please join Burlington School District (BSD) in welcoming four new administrators to our school system and congratulating district employees for stepping into support and leadership roles.
“With these hires, Burlington High School (BHS) and Edmunds Middle School (EMS) leadership teams are fully formed and eager to serve our students and families with a focus on equity, engagement, and deep learning,” said Burlington Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “I am very excited about our new leaders. They are mission-driven and they bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds to their roles that will benefit our district. I am thrilled for our school communities and our students as we enter this school year.”
Nikki Ellis has joined EMS as Assistant Principal (AP). Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Ellis has worked as an ELL/ELA teacher and an Equity Coach in Des Moines Public Schools. After earning a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University, they moved to Boston, Massachusetts with their wife, where Ellis worked as an AP in Chelsea Public Schools. Their passions include anti-racism and the work of ensuring that schools see and value each unique individual student, family, and staff member. Ellis joins Sabrina Westdijk at EMS, who was named Principal this spring after serving as Vice Principal in 2020-2021.
At BHS, Burlington School District welcomes three new APs: Melanee Alexander, Kate Paxton, and Francesca Dupuis. The three administrators will support Lauren McBride, who was named BHS principal after serving in an interim role since January 2020.
Melanee Alexander is an experienced school administrator and program development professional with accomplishments in community development strategies, youth development, and multicultural curriculum design. Her background in corporate philanthropy, international community service, and teaching led her to the Republic of Panama and Costa Rica to initiate partnerships among business, government, and nonprofits to stimulate responsible tourism and income-generating activities. Upon her return to the States, she returned to her alma mater, Brookline High School (MA), as an Associate Dean of Students and English teacher.
Francesca Dupuis, who was promoted from within, is an experienced classroom teacher with ten years of teaching at BHS in the History/Social Studies Department. Originally from Saugus, Massachusetts, Dupuis earned her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education in 2010 at UVM. As a classroom teacher, Dupuis has taught students in all grade levels, advised two clubs, served as Lead Teacher, co-taught with English and English Language teachers, and taken students abroad on five YES trips. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UVM in 2018 with the administrator endorsement.
Kate Paxton comes to BHS in the newly formed role of Assistant Principal of Student Supports. She brings strong teaching and administrative experience, most recently serving as an elementary school principal in Bradford, Vermont. Paxton’s passion for education is grounded in the belief that positive relationships are based upon kindness and respect, and that these relationships lay the foundation for successful teaching and learning. This commitment led her to pursue graduate work in ethics and education at UVM, where she received a Master’s in Educational Studies, and Arizona State University, where she earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Evaluation.
In addition to the new hires at BHS, LeVar Barrino will also take on new and important responsibilities, joining the BHS leadership team as 9th Grade Dean of Students. In this expanded role, Barrino will use his deep connections with students and history of community engagement to support students on their paths for success. Quaron Pinckney, the District Athletic Director, will also join the BHS leadership team. Longtime BHS Assistant Principal Herb Perez has been named the Assistant Principal at Flynn Elementary, BSD’s largest elementary school, and will serve in a support role District-wide for principals needing building, leadership, and/or staff support.