by Lisa Tome
Edmund Fontana had no time for hellos or goodbyes.
Fontana, a former assistant principal at Elkton High, has been reassigned to Rising Sun Middle for the coming school year.
He's embracing the change from working with older teens to pre-teens and young adolescents. He started working at the school July 9.
"I've learned my way around and gotten the lay out of the building," said Fontana. "I'm excited to get to know the community, and the middle school kids. I need change every four or so years. This gives me that opportunity. I embrace change."
He also has a more personal motivation.
"I have a three-year-old son. That has sparked my interest in the younger generation," he said.
He will be getting to know the place along with others. Due to retirements and transfers, the entire school office staff is new this year. "I'm looking forward to building with the office staff to achieve common goals," he said. "It feels like an office job when the kids aren't here. The kids fill the building with energy."
He has met a few of the staff who have stopped in at the school. The rest, he met electronically. "I didn't have enough time to say goodbye at Elkton or say hello at Rising Sun," said Fontana. So he sent emails. "The teachers have a very good understanding. You build relationships. The teachers adjust well to change. It's not about us. It's about the kids."
He brings a host of experience to the post.
He graduated from William Penn High School in Delaware. He then went to Wilmington University and earned a bachelors degree in criminal justice. After working at a group home for at risk youth, he then decided to study education. He now holds masters degrees in special education and school leadership. He started his career in education teaching biology and special education at Bo Manor High. He was then an assistant principal at that school for four years. He spent the last four years as an assistant principal at Elkton High.
He said he had a discussion with School Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Lawson. He said working in a middle school will give him a better understanding about how to bridge the gap between middle and high school.
"I'm looking forward to September 4 and building positive relationships with the staff and the students and creating a learning and work environment that people want to be in," he said. He said a key goal is to prepare middle school students to meet the rigors of high school.
"I'm looking forward to observations with teachers. I have a lot of experience and I'm very good at building relationships with kids. I'm looking forward to getting to know the community, the staff, and the teachers."
Fontana has taken over from former RSMS assistant principals Travis Benner and Jennifer Hood. Benner is now an assistant principal at North East Middle. Hood is now an assistant principal at Perryville High.