Mansfield School superintendent Brenda Hodges and the entire School Committee said a heartfelt goodbye to retiring Robinson principal Kate Kristenson.
“It has been a privilege to work with professionals at both schools,” she said. “I would to send a special thank you to the parents for your support and trust.”
Kristenson has been working for the Mansfield school system for more than 35 years. She started her career in 1976 in a variety of different roles. She is retiring from her position as principal for the Robinson School, but has also been the principal for the Jordan Jackson school.
“Being part of the Mansfield school community has been very rewarding,” she said in a letter to the school committee. “I have strived to make a difference in a positive learning environment where excellence has been the goal.”
Kristenson said she felt that her situation in making a difference in the lives of students has been her primary motivation for her work. She related her situation to a parable involving a person moving stranded starfish on a beach back to the ocean. When asked what possible difference that person could make with thousands of stranded starfish on the beach. Kristenson said the man just threw a starfish back and said ‘it made a difference for that one.”
“I certainly hope that I’ve made a difference in the lives of the children in the Mansfield schools,” Kristenson said.
Kristenson said that she felt the difference she had made in the Mansfield district was when students from the high school would come to her and talk about what they want to do when they enter the job market.
“The ones that decide to be teachers because of the positive experiences at the Mansfield schools is quite rewarding,” she said.
The school committee and Hodges said that the loss of Kristenson will be felt when she leaves the district in June.
“Kate is going to be so missed in this district,” she said. “We wish you the best, we congradulate you on your decision to enjoy that next phase and we will miss you.”