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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Principal exits her career in Nashua from same school where she started

NASHUA – Jane Quigley is ending her career as an educator in the same place she started – Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School.

Quigley began her career at Dr. Crisp in 1983, and after spending a couple of years as a district wide peer coach, she ultimately found her way back as the school’s principal. ...

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NASHUA – Jane Quigley is ending her career as an educator in the same place she started – Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School.

Quigley began her career at Dr. Crisp in 1983, and after spending a couple of years as a district wide peer coach, she ultimately found her way back as the school’s principal.

“I never had the ambition to be an administrator; it was not on my professional ‘to do’ list,” Quigley said.

In August 2003, after receiving her master’s degree, she received a call from the School District’s central office asking whether she’d be interested in a principal position.

“I said, ‘I thank you, but no thank you,’ ” Quigley said.

They called a second time and asked her if it mattered where the position was open, and she said no.

A third time, administrators suggested the position could be at Dr. Crisp. This time, Quigley was interested.

“I’ve been a part of this neighborhood since I was 21 years old,” she said. “My first teaching position, I was 21. I raised all three of my boys coming through the Nashua School District.”

Quigley has seen the neighborhood change over the years.

“It had an influx of younger families. … Children come back with their families, which is really heartwarming,” she said.

Quigley said in some cases, families with ties to the neighborhood apply for variances to send their children to the school even though they live in another part of the city.

“The neighborhood itself has always been generation after generation,” she said.

Quigley said she’ll always miss teaching, but that she gained a new appreciation for the work teachers do while she was an administrator.

“When I taught, to be effective was already a tough job,” she said. “How hard they work to be effective in the classroom today is just amazing. The amount of commitment and passion – you are giving 90 percent of your own life to classroom education.”

Quigley said she plans to stay in touch with the school after retirement and to stop back in for special events. Children have asked for her email address and for her to keep visiting their soccer and basketball games.

“I do live in the neighborhood,” she said. “I want continued correspondence.”

Her message to the new administrator: “You are receiving probably the best of the best of school communities, and I say that sincerely. You won’t find more invested, passionate, intelligent educators in a wide radius.”

Quigley said that isn’t to diminish other schools, but more a testament to the staff, parents and students at Dr. Crisp.

“They all signed on to a tough job and have had some high quality standards, and I couldn’t be more proud,” she said.

Quigley plans to work as a national trainer for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness Time to Teach program, which helps train teachers in classroom management strategies.

“The part I’m most excited about is no one has to change anything in the building; it’s just strategies that can be implemented the very next day,” she said.

The training helps develop a management system that aims to minimize bad behavior and allow teachers to focus on instruction.

“This is a bittersweet exit, but I’m hoping to still make a difference in education,” Quigley said. “In my heart, I will always be an educator.”

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashua
telegraph.com.