LYNN — Glenda Colon will be Connery Elementary School’s new principal and, according to Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler, she is the first Hispanic woman to hold that position in Lynn.
Tutwiler said he inquired with a number of people who have a strong handle on the school district’s history and, to their understanding, she is the city’s first female Hispanic principal. At a minimum, Colon would be the first in the last four decades, he said. Beginning July 1, she will take the position over from Mary Dill, who will continue as principal at Brickett Elementary.
“Through a rigorous, multi-step process, Ms. Colon distinguished herself among an experienced and talented pool of candidates as one who is and who would make a wonderful addition to the Lynn Public Schools leadership team,” Tutwiler said in a press release.
Colon has spent her career in Boston Public Schools, first as a teacher before ascending to a district leadership role in 2014. In that new position, she developed and facilitated professional development for instructional leadership teams and a year later she became principal of Dante Alighieri Montessori School in East Boston, where she currently leads.
The 38-year-old said she met Tutwiler during his guest speaker appearance for the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College, which Colon is a part of. The two had the opportunity to connect and the professional relationship flourished from that point, she said.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing and learning ways to build enrichment,” she said. “I’m curious to learn.”
Colon said her first priority will be to learn about the values of Connery Elementary’s community as well as the culture and history of Lynn. It’s important, for her entry point, to connect with and understand the community she is coming into, she said.
“It’s important that the role of a principal is looked at as a coach or a partner,” she said.
She said she hopes to develop a “coaching” plan so teachers and leaders can work collectively on lesson planning and collaborating. She also looks forward to integrating more arts and sciences into classrooms and focusing on the social and emotional needs of children.
Born in Puerto Rico, Colon’s family moved to Revere when she was in the first grade. She remembers what it felt like to be a young English-language learner and the struggles that came with it. Excited at the opportunity to be the first female Hispanic principal in Lynn, she said she did her own research and found that at least 50 percent of the students at Connery are Hispanic.
“I feel privileged and happy to see and know that these children will see someone in a leadership role who is a Latino themselves,” she said. “I’m proud that this is a journey many children who might be in the shoes I was as a kid can follow.”