Junior High Principal announced for 2016-2017 school year


Bella Szarzynski

Serving as interim principal for the past year, Shea has been selected as the permanent Junior High Principal.

Ms. Claire Shea is a BSM alumni, a dedicated Morality teacher, and now the official principal of the Junior High. After Dr. Carol McNamara retired last year, Shea took over the position as the interim principal, and recently the BSM community, discovered that she was chosen from a pool of applicants to be the permanent Junior High principal.  BSM welcomes Shea to her new position, and looks to the future with excitement and hope as she takes on her new role.

Shea is no stranger to the halls of BSM, but becoming principal was neither easy nor a position to be taken for granted. “The position was open for anyone to apply, and I was just a standard applicant. It started with a committee of people from the school, primarily, Junior High teachers, Dr. Skinner, Dr. Gyolai, and Teresa Collins from the North Building. They asked a series of questions, and I was even offered a tour of the school as a formality,” Shea said.

After completing the first steps, Shea moved on to the next round of the process as a finalist for the job of principal. She was considered against one other candidate for the final job posting. “There were only two finalists left, and the other finalist took a job at another school,” Shea said.

Shea was selected because she proved she had the abilities the school needs, but the opposing applicants were not short on ability either. “We did a very robust search that included Junior High faculty, and BSM administrators. We wanted to do the most extensive search that we could because we need the best candidate that we can find. Ms. Shea rose to the top of a very robust candidate pool that included applicants from across the country,” BSM President Dr. Kevin Gyolai said.

Ms. Shea rose to the top of a very robust candidate pool that included applicants from across the country

— Gyolai

Moving through the application process, Shea experienced different complications and definite benefits as a side effect of being a veteran BSM employee and student. “When you apply for a regular job, they don’t know you. You give them your resume and you put your best foot forward. Here, I was in the community already. I am a colleague of faculty and staff, and I was a student. People know me in lots of different ways. It was difficult to bring all those ideas of me forward into one candidacy,” Shea said.

As Shea moves into a new level in her career, she looks forward to aiding and developing the Junior High as BSM continues to focus on its prescribed goals. “I am most excited to see where the Junior High will be in 2020. We look towards the BSM 2020 road map of more experienced based learning, and the tagline of ‘solving problems that matter,’ and I am excited to see that shift occur in the Junior High,” Shea said.

Leadership is a key trait that BSM attempts to instill in all of the students who attend the school. Shea recognizes this and hopes to hone her leadership abilities as she takes a new step in her journey with BSM.  “I hope to be an effective leader. What’s scary about being a leader is [potentially] losing your ability to affect people and make change. I hope to always develop my ability to lead and affect people in a positive way. If I stop doing that, then I should stop being the principal,” Shea said.

Shea has proven through her work that she is more than capable, and the BSM community is glad to have her as the new Junior High principal. “She is a key leader on the academic side of the school. She is someone that embraces creativity, and innovation. I have complete confidence that she is the person in the Junior High, and the whole school, that will help us achieve the vision,” Gyolai said.