Burlington High principal looking ahead to what a new school could mean for students

Local News

Burlington High School has been filled with uncertainty this year — and not only because of the pandemic. Chemical contamination has forced everyone to leave campus for a temporary home downtown.

There’s also been uncertainly surrounding the principal’s position. However, interim principal Lauren McBride has been granted permanent status, effective July 1.

McBride joined the Burlington School District in the summer of 2018 as an assistant principal at the high school. She was promoted to interim principal at the high school after Noel Green’s sudden resignation from that same post in January.

“I see us as really being able to start to re-envision and think about how we can embrace the fact that we’re downtown, in the middle of Burlington, working with our community partners, and really thinking differently about what instruction can look like, what experiences for students can look like,” she said.

McBride is also looking forward to envisioning what a new, permanent home for BHS will look like. The school board voted Tuesday night to build a new campus.

“The old BHS was six separate buildings, and at times, that was really isolating,” she said. “It really separated our students, and also our faculty and staff, from one another. Being downtown in one building that has two stories has really helped us to come back together.”

One particular section of BHS Downtown — the name attached to the former Macy’s department store at the old Burlington Town Center mall while the high school is inside it — has proven vital. It’s called ‘the hub’.

“It’s where our student support is located,” McBride said. “It’s right at the bottom of our escalators, and that space has become an incredibly vibrant location for students, and for faculty and staff.”

Local 22 & Local 44 News also asked McBride about the school board’s decision to offer her the permanent position after less than four months — something it never did for Noel Green in his two and a half years as interim principal.

“One of the things that I think about this process, and as we’ve engaged in this process, is that there’s been — there’s been a lot of different pieces of feedback and a lot of different people that have been able to partake in the hiring process throughout the last couple of months,” she said. “Again, I think I’m just excited about the work that lays ahead.”

Green resigned on January 8. Had he not done that, he would have been offered the permanent principal job at a school board meeting four days later.

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