A brand new face has been greeting children at Camden-Rockport Elementary School this year, as Janet Anderson has assumed the reigns of the school after the departure of former principal Theresa Lash at the end of the last school year.

A native of Massachusetts, Anderson brings a wealth of experience to the district, including vast knowledge of the field of literacy.

The St. Lawrence University graduate began her career as an educational technician more than 17 years ago and then moved into a teaching role, in a fifth-grade classroom.

Anderson earned her Masters in Education Leadership in 2005. In 2006, she became a Literacy Specialist at Lisbon Community School. Anderson also worked for three years in Maine School Administrative District 75 as a Literacy Teacher Leader and MSAD 51 as a literacy coach. For eight years, Anderson taught third-, fourth- and fifth-grades in Falmouth. Most recently she worked in Cumberland.

“I clearly remember the job posting and saying to my husband, 'Hey, this looks interesting. Would you consider moving?" Anderson said. “I have always loved the Camden-Rockport area and have visited it often.”

She added, “The possibility of living here was very exciting. I was also looking for an elementary school and K-4 matched my experiences as a classroom teacher and as a coach/interventionist. The size was perfect – right in between the largest school I had worked at and the smallest. It was all very interesting.”

She feels that over the summer, there were several instances or "magical moments" that leaves no question the timing was right.

"It's those moments when everything lines ups that I realize I made the right decision," she said.

Anderson said her beliefs in education have evolved and deepened during her 17-year career, but said she remains grounded in a passion for learning, inquiry, collaboration and respect for the individual child's needs, their strengths and potential.

“I believe that all children can learn and succeed,”she said.

Anderson feels that instruction should be explicit, targeted, informed by ongoing assessment and supported by timely feedback. Interventions should match classroom instruction and classroom instruction should support interventions, she said.

Anderson has set forth a list of both short- and long-term goals she would like to accomplish as principal.

“My first goal was to build relationships with staff and the community. I spent the summer months meeting one-on-one with as many staff and community members that I could,” she said. “Another short term goal was to start the new year with a smooth opening and I felt that was accomplished due to the many smiles I saw on the students every morning.”

Her long-term goals consist of three Cs — content, collaboration and communication. Content consists of supporting the implementation of the balanced literacy framework for reading, writing, speaking and listening, also to implement standards-based grading, reporting and education, she said. Collaboration involves supporting a positive learning environment for teachers and students and to support team work and a continuous improvement model with embedded professional development.

Her final goal is to create strong communication, the ability to share ideas clearly and effectively for the CRES community that includes students, staff, parents and local residents, she said.

“Communication is key to ensuring student's targeted strategies are transferred to classroom work to independent skills,” she said.

Anderson resides in Rockport with her husband and 1-year-old golden retriever named Cooper.