CAVENDISH, Vt. – On Feb. 9, 2018, George Thomson had started his morning routine like any other at Cavendish Town Elementary School. While the students gathered for morning meeting, he had every intention to sort through the lost and found bin with the students. However, Superintendent Meg Powden and the staff at CTES surprised the principal of 29 years, with a nomination for Vermont’s Elementary Principal of The Year. With this being George Thomson’s last year before retirement, many staff members felt this was a way to show their appreciation for all he has done.
George Thomson began his career in education in 1970 as a math and reading teacher in Massachusetts for students with special needs. Over the years he had worked his way to the top, and eventually became headmaster of the residential school. He described working at the school as “very rewarding, but demanding.”
Wanting to have a family and spend time with them, George Thomson and his wife moved to Ludlow, Vt., and he became principal of CTES. He felt that the community here was “much more immersed in the greater idea of a community,” and that it would give him more time to spend with his family. Since then, he has become a well known member of the local area.
Thomson reflected on how much the community has changed, as well as the nuclear family. “We’ve seen more responsibilities given to schools such as snack times, morning breakfast, and the after school program.” Changes, which he says, is a result of both parents having to work to support their families. “When they get home they are exhausted, and we see less involvement in the schools on their end.” Thomson added.
In addition to changes in the nuclear family, Thomson makes the case that there are more special needs students in schools than when he first started teaching, and how it’s another problem that schools are going to have to figure out.
George Thomson, after working for 49 years in education, is set to retire at the end of the school year. “I hope to take the opportunity to make the transition for the new principal as smooth as possible.” Thomson replied when asked about any goals before the year is over. Once retired, he hopes to continue traveling, volunteering in the community, and visiting his grandchildren.
The staff at Cavendish Town Elementary School submitted a nomination essay for George Thomson to the state in hopes that he will win the nomination for Vermont Elementary Principal of the Year.