Cresto out as MAUHS principal

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BENNINGTON — Glenda Cresto has agreed to step down as principal of Mount Anthony Union High School, effective immediately.

The MAU School Board made the announcement Wednesday after an executive session and voted to agree to the separation agreement, the details of which are not yet clear. Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union Curriculum Director Laura Boudreau will fill the position in an interim capacity until a more permanent replacement fro Cresto can be found. The vote was not unanimous, with Shaftsbury representative Fran Kinney voting against. The vote to appoint Boudreau was unanimous.

"The board and Ms. Cresto have jointly agreed that the future path of Mount Anthony Union High School requires different leadership to move forward," said Superintendent Jim Culkeen in a prepared statement. "The board appreciates Ms. Cresto's leadership the past two years and her commitment to student achievement. We wish her well in her future endeavors."

Cresto had previously announced that she would be leaving as principal at the end of the upcoming school year.

Cresto was hired prior to the 2015-2016 school year to replace retiring Principal Sue Maguire. "At the end of the day, as I'm heading home to have dinner and connect with my partner, I want to look back on every decision I made as empowering students to dream, and dream big, about his or her future," Cresto said soon after her hiring, "I want to make sure that any student whose life I impact has the power to open any door they want to open in their life. And that means making sure that they become powerful readers, writers, and mathematicians, but it also is vital that they become effective problem-solvers, effective decision-makers, and effective collaborators."

Cresto's term as principal began controversially when a group of teachers and community members raised concerns about the process that saw Cresto hired over the other finalist for the position, then-assistant principal Mike Molloy, who is still a teacher at the school. Prior to the meeting at which Cresto was introduced, an anonymous teacher from the school presented the board with a letter, in which the teacher described Cresto's hiring as breaking the staff's trust in the administration, and called it a personal attack on the school and everything that has been accomplished over the last several years. "Make no mistake," they wrote, "Things will fall apart as a result of this decision."

Reach staff writer Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122 or @DerekCarsonBB

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