SHREWSBURY, Mass. — After nearly 40 years working in education, Paton School Principal Jayne Wilkin will be retiring this summer.
In her career, Wilkin said she has seen many changes happen in education, especially special education, a field in which she worked before becoming a teacher.
“I remember myself as a high school student, interacting with kids with disabilities," she said. "I've seen huge changes in ways of teaching those with learning and language disabilities. Schools have done a remarkable job in educating staff and students. That's the most dramatic change.”
In Shrewsbury, more collaborative communication takes place among teachers to solve problems, Wilkin said. But she has also seen cuts to support positions and education technicians at Paton due to budget restrictions in recent years.
This marks Wilkin's 29th year of working in the Shrewsbury schools, and her 10th year as Paton's principal. Due to budget restrictions, the school district wasn't able to fund a principal position for the Beal Early Childhood Center this year, so Wilkin stepped up and served as principal for both Beal and Paton.
Although working both jobs was “a challenge,” she said, the belt-tightening probably saved two teaching positions. The district plans to fill the Beal principal position next year.
Wilkin said she plans to spend more time with friends and family, gardening, sewing and pursuing her love of reading.
“I will definitely miss the people and the kids,” she said. “I've worked with some wonderful folks — and terrific kids.”