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Sanderson Academy in Ashfield begins new school year with new principal

Emma Liebowitz, 43, of Ashfield, was hired this spring as Sanderson’s new principal after Budge Litchfield retired, ending his six-year stint in the principal’s chair.

No stranger to Sanderson, which is the public school for children in kindergarten through sixth grade in Plainfield and Ashfield, Liebowitz was a special education instructor in 1993. She was then a sixth-grade teacher before leaving the school in 1995. She taught at the Hawlemont Regional Elementary School for seven years before becoming principal of that school in 2010.

Liebowitz is also the consulting teacher for the Northeast Foundation for Children, the educational organization behind the Responsive Classroom approach.

“One thing that will be different this year is that there will be more professional learning days for teachers,” Liebowitz said. “These will be held on several Wednesdays and will allow teachers to focus on collaboration and professional development.”

On these days, students will be dismissed at 1:50 p.m. rather than 3:15 p.m.

Liebowitz said that one-hour after-school programs will continue to be available, featuring things such as crafts, sports and public health.

“We will also have an after-school kung fu class during the month of September,” she said.

Two new teachers will be joining the Sanderson staff this year: physical education teacher Ben Hause and fourth-grade teacher Jorie MacCleod.

On Wednesday, the PTO prepared a breakfast for the new students welcoming them to school before starting their first day.

Liebowitz said that the PTO is planning to sell baked goods at the popular annual Plainfield Firefighters Barbecue set for Sunday at 1 p.m. behind the Shaw Memorial Library on Main Street.

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