Roller Tapped For OSSD Principal Post

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Front Page / Jul. 13, 2017 9:56am EDT

By Dylan Kelley


David Roller, a longtime fifth- and sixth-grade teacher was hired as an OSSD principal this week. (Provided) David Roller, a longtime fifth- and sixth-grade teacher was hired as an OSSD principal this week. (Provided) Longtime Randolph Elementary teacher David Roller has been selected to be one of the three members of the elementary leadership team for the Orange Southwest School District.

Roller, a one-time president and current vice president of the local chapter of the VT-NEA teachers’ union, has agreed to a 1-year contract worth $92,000 and will fill the Brookfield position vacated by Proctor resident Susan McKelvie, who was hired as principal in 2012 but submitted her resignation in May.

Roller, who has taught fifth and sixth grades at RES for 23 years, will join the elementary school leadership team that also includes Erica McLaughlin and Pat Miller, said outgoing OSSD Superintendent Brent Kay.

“I think, in general, he’s a really good fit with Erica and Pat,” said Kay. “They’ve got a strong history of working together … it’ll be a smooth transition because they know each other well and can work together already. That’s a pretty important thing,” he said.

Kay, who is stepping down from his position at the end of the summer, also praised Roller’s uncommon background in teaching science at an elementary level, a focus that will receive increased emphasis in the coming years.

“Having that background is a real asset,” he said. “I’ve worked with him for a lot of years. He’s a real sound thinker, very calm. He’s committed to serving people fairly in a respectful, human way,” Kay added.

“Combined with his educational background and knowledge of human resource management that he has from the [teachers’] union, I think it’s fortunate that he was willing to apply and step up to the position.”

A New Beginning

For his part, Roller is eager to begin working in a new community of students, staff, and faculty, even if it means leaving his longtime educational home of Randolph Elementary.

“[It] will be a change!” said Roller in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I’ve been pretty embedded in Randolph, but I’ve worked with some of the teachers in Brookfield for a long time and it’ll be great to work with them more closely,” he said.

“I’d like them to be the schools that the community wants them to be,” said the South Royalton resident, who is looking forward to working in the smaller school settings of Brookfield and Braintree. “It seems pretty clear from the interview process, and certainly the community forum, that there are some parents who are hoping for some change in a positive direction.”

“I’m a cautious person by nature,” he said, “so I approach this with optimism. I want to get to know the teachers and the parents and work with them. That’s what I see is the opportunity here, being able to do that.”

Disclosure: Tim Calabro, editor and publisher of The Herald, is David Roller’s son-in-law.

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