Karen Cronin immediately set a goal when she followed outgoing Principal Dr. Karen Dwyer in August into the Summer Street Elementary School: She wanted to not only learn how to be a good principal, she wanted to learn how to be the best principal.
Dwyer resigned to accept a position at Uxbridge Public Schools as assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and accountability and Cronin has had a busy two months.
“It has been very busy because there is so much to learn, and it’s not so much as learning the job as a principal but it’s learning the job of Lynnfield, Summer Street School, these children, this community, these families, and this staff,” she said.
An upstate New York native who grew up near Schenectady, Cronin attended college at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
She began her career as an elementary-school teacher, teaching at all grade levels ranging from first to sixth grade. She moved on to become the assistant principal at the Center School in Stow. Cronin also taught in the Billerica and Newton districts, as well as a district in Arizona.
Cronin spent 19 years as an elementary-school teacher, straddling general and special education. She was also an assistant principal at an elementary school in the Nashoba Valley Regional School District, and most recently she was the principal of the North Street School for four years in the Tewksbury Public Schools.
In introducing Cronin to Summer Street School teachers and parents, Superintendent of Lynnfield Schools Kristen Vogel said Cronin “brings many years of experience, both as an elementary-classroom teacher and administrator, to Lynnfield.”
“She comes to us with four years experience as a principal and another six in administration. The first day she met the administrative-leadership team, she just dove into the work and she did the same at the meet-and-greet we held for her to meet parents and students,” said Vogel.
Three of Cronin’s children are attending college — at the University of Maine-Orono, Southern New Hampshire University, and Syracuse University — and the youngest is in high school.