The evenings are cooling off, the flying termites are coming out, the apples are ripening at our favourite Elphinstone cidries, Stage 4 water restrictions are looming in the background… It must be September! Can you believe it? It’s back to school time after that brief kiss of summer. Our own idyllic elementary school in Area E is about to start September with substantial change. I got the chance to chat with Lia Cuccurullo, the new principal at Cedar Grove Elementary School, about her arrival on the Coast and the upcoming year.
She grew up on Salt Spring Island and one of her favourite memories was riding the bus to school each morning because “the scenery along that country road and being with friends was a lovely way to start the day.” How it makes me want to convert an old school bus so I can live that dream every day.
Cuccurullo has taught around the world: In places like Italy, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Most recently though, she was just across the water with the Vancouver School Board. I am pleased to report that the reputation of Cedar Grove Elementary precedes itself, as Cuccurullo heard tales of involved parents, bright kids and gregarious staff members at the school, summing up the vibe of the place as “people care.” The thing she is most excited for is meeting her new community. Cuccurullo can feel the buzz around this being the first “normal” school term since the global pandemic, and for better or worse, it will be an adjustment for everyone.
Just to shake things up a little more, Cuccurullo throws in a plot twist: She has a baby on the way! Get to know and love this woman while you can, because she is due in late November, and she will step back for some important mat leave. Jamie Sadler is expected to cover while she is absent, so stay tuned for my next edition of Interviewing the new principal of Cedar Grove Elementary School!
When asked if she knew any jokes, Cuccurullo was up to the task: “Why did the student eat her homework? Because the teacher told her it was a piece of cake.”
Hey, it’s a groaner, but I appreciate a sense of humour in my school principal. Don’t you?
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