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Milton Academy Announces Its Next Lower School Principal

Milton Academy is delighted to announce that, following a highly competitive national search, the school has chosen Amy Criswell as its next Lower School principal. Milton is so happy that she will join its community this July.

The students and families in Milton’s Lower School are just beginning their unique Milton K–12 journey. They are a vital cohort in the school’s interconnected community and Milton is so pleased to have found someone of Amy’s caliber to serve as its principal. Amy has spent more than 25 years teaching and leading at the elementary level including 13 years working in independent schools. She is a talented and experienced educator with deep expertise serving not only as an administrator, but also in the classroom as a kindergarten, first, second, and third grade teacher.

Presently, Amy is the early childhood & Lower School director at Elgin Academy, an independent school in suburban Chicago, IL. At Elgin, she oversees the school’s Pre-K through fourth grade curricula, scope, and sequence. She also created and now directs the school’s PEAK initiative, an immersive instructional program for students with language based differences. Prior to joining Elgin, Amy worked at the Dawson School, an independent school in Lafayette, CO where she oversaw the school’s K–5 curriculum as the assistant lower school director and also taught third grade. She also has served as a teacher at public and independent elementary schools in Colorado, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Amy’s experience is strongly aligned with Milton’s own programs and curricula. The transformational curriculum renewal work Milton’s Lower School has executed over the past several years has made it a leader in progressive elementary education. Amy’s own work in these areas will ensure continuity and the advancement of the innovative, research-based academic programming for which the school is known. Like Milton, she believes in educating the whole child and will continue the division’s work to balance academic rigor with an equally strong focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of its students. The school is also pleased to note that Amy was drawn to Milton because of its institutional commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. She’s eager to build upon the work Frank Patti, Vanessa Cohen Gibbons, Matt Cobb-Ferrara and their teams have done to enhance the division’s K–5 DEIJ curriculum and is looking forward to partnering on the implementation of Milton’s 2019 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan’s recommendations.

Amy earned her B.A. in theater (youth drama) from the University of New Hampshire where she also earned a master’s degree in elementary education. She also has completed a Responsive Classroom advanced course, and received a Reading Recovery Certification from UNH and Lesley University.

Warm and welcoming, Amy is a highly effective communicator and collaborator, known for her flexible and open minded leadership style—all qualities that will serve her well when she assumes leadership of Milton’s amazing and supportive Lower School community. Milton is confident that she will continue to build upon the wonderful work Frank and the entire Lower School team have done to date.

Milton remains grateful to its Lower School Principal Search Committee for their dedication and tireless work in making this process run so smoothly. In the coming months, the school will share more information about opportunities for students, families, faculty, and staff to get to know Amy and learn more about her.