New Leadership Begins at Craftsbury Academy

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CRAFTSBURY – Craftsbury Academy (CA) ended this past school year having hired a new principal and has now hired Steve Welch to lead the Charger athletic department this coming fall.

Lisa McCarthy

Lisa McCarthy has replaced Matt Foster as principal at CA, bringing experience in that same role from Lakeview and Woodbury Elementary Schools. Born and raised in central Vermont, McCarthy graduated from U-32 High School, earned her undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University, and a Masters Degree in education from Montana State University. The Calais resident stated her enthusiasm to tackle her new position on the CA school website.

“I am honored and excited to bring my collaborative leadership style to the Craftsbury school community. I look forward to supporting students, staff, families, and community members to ensure we foster an inclusive learning environment that provides a high level of academic rigor for all students. I will work closely with the very dedicated Craftsbury School Board to provide innovative vision and thinking about an intentional path forward in our small rural school. I have already received a warm welcome and it is clear to me that this is a community that deeply values children and education. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful school,” said McCarthy.

Steve Welch

Steve Welch also started as CA’s new athletic director earlier this month, replacing Sarah Hunt. Hunt replaced John Stein on an interim basis in the middle of the winter sports season last December after the position was vacated less than four months in. Welch becomes the sixth Charger athletic director in as many years and will face small school challenges that have fractured and consolidated high school athletic programs statewide due to the introduction of ACT 46, school choice, and decreasing participation numbers across the board. The Lakes Region native comes to the Common from White Mountains Regional High School in Whitefield, NH with nearly a decade of experience in high school education and coaching and has been involved at all levels of athletics from grassroots to varsity competition for the past 20 years. Welch will oversee a new era at CA as they enter a three-year cooperative with Hazen Union athletics. CA and Hazen have been working together off and on the past seven years as participation numbers have fluctuated in girls’ varsity basketball and soccer, along with softball and boys’ baseball and soccer. This past year, the cooperative had a trial run as CA student athletes competed under the Hazen logo in both varsity soccer programs, girls’ basketball, and varsity baseball. Hazen and Peoples Academy players competed under the CA logo in varsity softball. Hazen and CA are expected to expand the cooperative this coming fall to more sports at the middle school level to increase participation numbers and give more student athletes the opportunity to compete at the youth level. The agreement also hopes to create junior varsity programs for future development at the varsity level. CA intends to continue to compete independently in their elite skiing, cross-country, and track and field programs, winning multiple state championships the last several seasons.

“I look forward to working with the students, staff, and community of Craftsbury Academy starting this summer and this coming fall,” stated Welch.

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