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Colby Troidl is Epping Middle School’s New Principal
By Leslie O’Donnell  10-13-17

In her job as principal at East Rochester elementary school in Rochester, Colby Troidl was primarily a building administrator.  She found her contact with students was a big plus, but she did not have the time to coach teachers and be an instructional leader – part of what drove her to the education field in the first place.

She left that post two years ago to become English Language Arts (ELA) director for grades 6-12 in Windham, where she supervised teachers and took on the curriculum - but she missed her time with students.

Now in her new job as principal at Epping Middle School, with its 218 students in grades 6-8, Troidl said she has the best of both worlds.

“The majority of my career has been teaching at the middle level,” she noted. “At Epping, I have that connection with kids and families. I didn’t get to build community before.

“At every turn, I am delighted by what I see in Epping in terms of community support, and in the energy and enthusiasm of the staff,” she added.

This is her 10th year in New Hampshire. She started her 24-year career in education teaching in western New York state in a community similar in size to Epping – “you wear many hats,” she said. Through the years, she has taught grades 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11.

“I worked several years as a secretary and a dispatcher, and I was startled by the low level of people’s writing skills,” she recalled. “When my daughter started school, I saw things I wanted to be involved with.” And that led her to a career in education.

Troidl said she was a non-traditional student, receiving her degree in education when she was 30. She had two daughters by the time she did her student teaching.

Troidl has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Secondary English Education from the State University of New York, Fredonia, and a Master of Science degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.

 

Colby Troidl

 

The sense of community in Epping may be what impresses her most. “My plans are to build relationships with parents, students and staff, and to evaluate and learn what we need to fix, and what we need to continue to support,” she said. “I’m impressed with the number of parents and kids who attended the Open House we had. They came up to introduce themselves and to welcome me, and several middle school parents asked about developing a Parent Teacher Organization.” She said she has had great response to that idea.

Troidl has two grown daughters, one an assistant principal for Montessori Schools in China and one a marketing analyst in South Carolina, and three grandchildren.

In her spare time, Troidl said she loves to travel, to cook, and to visit with her grandchildren. She also likes to write poetry and stories, but has not ventured into having them published.

She has gone on safari in Tanzania and recently returned from education-focused trips to Cuba and to Finland.

She noted that Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rate and the highest literacy rate in the world. In Finland, she spoke to students and parents, “and every time I could I would ask them why the kids are doing so much better. They explained that they only take the best students to go into an education career,” she said. “The core difference is they don’t use accountability, they use responsibility.

“If we could go back to the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, our education, our environment, there would be a shift to recognize the responsibility each person brings to the job every day, and we can nurture it,” she added.

“I think the sky’s the limit here,” she said of Epping Middle School. “With our small population and small school, we can do big things. I can’t effect change without trust, and everyone has to believe they’re doing the right thing for the kids. Our staff are people who know what students’ needs are.

“When you walk in here, it feels good,” she concluded.