One year later: Legacy of beloved principal Michael Doran lives strong

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One year after the death of principal Dr. Michael Doran, this school has recovered by introducing a plethora of changes, including a new administration, a smooth school year opening, a one lunch system and a wellness initiative.
The biggest change occurred at the moment of his death when Kim Boldon became acting principal. “I understand the role of the principal much better,” Boldon said. “You never know how complex it can be until you do it.”
The newly-appointed principal hoped for the community to move on from the loss and not to wallow in this tragedy. “I want there to be less dwelling on what happened,” Boldon said. “[There should be] more proactivity of what could happen in the future.”
Boldon wished for the staff and students here to have a relatively normal school year, far from the tragedies of the past years. Boldon said, “We need a strong and positive year, in and out of class. I’m always concerned about welfare of students and staff and we need a year where there isn’t an overshadow of losses and challenges.”
Although Boldon has attempted to move on from the death of Doran, she has still implemented a variety of occasions and other honors to remember him by. Boldon celebrated his life with a school-wide red out day on his birthday as well as introducing the “Dr. Michael Doran Scholarship” which, according to the PTSA website, “will provide financial assistance

to graduating Wootton seniors from families whose parents did not have the opportunity to go college and students who have a particularly compelling personal story.”
Other teachers and staff also plan on remembering Dr. Doran’s legacy, including the Humanities and Arts
Program Coordinator, Michelle Hanson. “It’s funny,” Hanson said. “I have one of the jobs in the building that I think is inexplicably tied with [Doran] because I was his first hire on the second day of his job. He hired me as a Humanities and Arts Coordinator and so, in a lot of ways, the program that I run kind of grew up with him, being a principal. And I think in a lot of ways, making sure that this program stays strong is a large part of whatever legacy I can leave with him in mind.”
Boldon says that she has experienced loads of skepticism and doubt after being appointed as principal after the influential and innovative Dr. Doran, however, the new principal has her own initiative for this school. Boldon said, “There’s a lot he did well but, I am my own person and I have my own ideas on what I believe is important. He was his own person and I am my own person.”
A distinct difference between Doran and Boldon’s leadership is the recently-activated “One Lunch” policy, where all students eat their mid-day meal together at the same time. “Having three lunches was limiting to the school’s culture,” Boldon said.

 

James Barberis

Staff Writer