Tisbury School’s new principal brings experience as an alumnus

Tisbury School principal John Custer — Photo courtesy of Tisbury School

Built in 1929, the Tisbury School stands out among more modern schools. The community is proud of its school, and it provides a tangible link to the past. Where the school is concerned, tradition is also celebrated.

The notion that the Tisbury School is “traditional” is embraced, but it is not simply the building or our practices that earn such description. Rather, it is the continuing spirit of people who work with the best interests of Tisbury School students in mind. Teachers and staff, parents and families, and community and school council members all contribute to this. Such a collaborative effort yields results that all should be proud of.

It is my privilege to work alongside a staff whose dedication to children is unmatched. I am honored to be the principal of the very school I attended for Kindergarten through 8th grade. I appreciate that I benefitted from a Tisbury School education, and that the school’s strong pledge to students exists still.

The Tisbury School recognizes that each student is a unique individual whose development is the responsibility of the staff, the parents, the community as a whole, and the child him/herself. It is the school’s purpose and obligation to create an educational environment that maximizes each student’s individual talents.

The Tisbury School emphasizes respect, tolerance, community service, personal integrity, and sensitivity for diversity. This focus is apparent throughout the building, in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Academic, social, and extracurricular opportunities for Tisbury School students incorporate the message that individual excellence is recognized, while simultaneously encouraging collaboration and strengthening relationships. Classroom practices and routines reinforce this vision.

On September 8, we will welcome nearly 320 students through our doors. Kindergarten students (and their parents) will embark upon a remarkable and rewarding journey. Eighth graders will begin a year that promises moments of both nostalgia and looking forward. All other students will join them in the extraordinary growing and learning that happens in our school.

Tisbury School students are fortunate indeed to have such opportunities. In addition to a traditional focus on building and improving students’ academic skills, the Tisbury School also maintains an emphasis on educating the whole child. Accordingly, the arts are a valuable and integral part of the school’s program. Students participate in vocal and instrumental music, art, family and consumer science, industrial arts, health, physical education, and computer technology. Also, Tisbury School students in Kindergarten through eighth grade are enrolled in Spanish.

Tremendous support from parents and the community has contributed much to the Tisbury School’s success. We are grateful for the time, talent, and efforts that provide backing for the work we do for our students. Parents and families, in addition to our PTO, School Committee, and School Advisory Council, help form the partnerships that so greatly benefit our students and make a positive difference. While Vineyard schools are fortunate to have strong community support, it is important to never take for granted this commitment. We owe thanks for this investment in our children.

I look forward to a fulfilling year as a new principal. Sean Mulvey (assistant principal) and Aly Lanzone (guidance counselor) are new to the school, and join me on our administrative team. We also welcome Julie Brand (art/industrial arts teacher), and Robyn Gurney and Erika Oliver (education support professionals) to our school. Our devoted staff shares a common commitment to the students, parents, and community, as well as to each other.

At the Tisbury School, collegiality is strong and pride is apparent. We are pleased and excited to welcome students and parents back to school, with hopes for another wonderful year.

Mr. Custer is principal of Tisbury School.