Dr. Bolton

Emily Ruddy, Staff Writer

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The start of a new school year always brings change. The changes, some small, and others big always come to the Pennridge school district. This year, however, an enormously large change occurred: a new superintendent that is. Dr. David Bolton took the job from the retiring Superintendent,  Dr. Jacqueline Ratigan, at the beginning of the school year. Already, Dr. Bolton has been doing as much as he can to get involved in the Pennridge community by attending athletic, musical, and social events throughout the district.

I had a wonderful opportunity to get to sit down and interview Dr. Bolton and ask him a few questions about himself and the upcoming school year. He was very welcoming and genuine while answering the questions I posed.

I started the interview by asking Dr. Bolton about his transition to Pennridge.  Dr. Bolton informed me that his transition had been wonderful and that with any new job, that the most important part is getting to know the people and the community. Dr. Bolton has been spotted in the community at various events; getting to know people and learning about what makes Pennridge so special. Furthermore, Dr. Bolton makes it known how important he views the community at Pennridge and how he plans to integrate himself into it further, saying “ One of the things that is important when you’re in a school district, is to be fully involved in the school district. I see the superintendent as the ‘Chief Cheerleader’, it is a man or women, who wherever they go are always talking about the wonderful things going on in the school district that they represent. The one way you know what’s going on is that you’re involved in things, like being at the events, getting to know people, and getting to share the stories through interviews like this, online, and face to face. You want to be able to brag about your school district”

 

A superintendent is normally a person who stays in a school community for a long period of time, so why not get to know them. When asked how he would describe himself in three words, he responded with “  Student-centered, involved, and a teacher” because even though he’s the superintendent he still sees himself as a teacher. Sometimes he is working and teaching adults and not directly with students, but still sees himself as a teacher overall. Of course, a person is more than just their job. Dr. Bolton talked about his family and how most of his free time is spent with them; whether it’s hiking at national parks or just riding their bikes, they seem to enjoy nature at it’s finest.

As many know, Pennridge had its fair share of controversy last year with the Walk out and weather issues. Dr. Bolton says that regarding the weather issues that “ There will always be people who don’t agree with your decision; the weather as we know is impossible to predict, one of the things that is important to me is that I am going to communicate how that decision is made and when that decision is made, there are many people involved in this discussion as well, we use many resources, experts, and communicate with other schools. People will always know when that decision is being made because I think that’s where some of the frustration stems from because parents need to know to make arrangements for child care and the students need to know whether or not they can go back to bed. So I will be very clear when those decisions are made.” Last year’s walkout was perhaps the most controversial thing to ever happen in our school district, it’s not everyday a high school from Bucks County makes nationwide news. With   political climate, I thought it was important to know how a new superintendent would handle these situations, like the walkout, and how he would make sure neither side of the political arena was angered. Dr. Bolton says that his personal politics will never come into play and that his students will always come first. He says that when making a decision that he will “ listen to people, gather all the information he can, make the best decision, tell the decision and tell why he made that decision, then move forward knowing that not everyone will be happy with the decision.”

Throughout my interview with Dr. Bolton, I could tell that children and school have always been a big part of his life. He says that his high school experience was a very positive time and that he learned many things, he also told me that high school prepared him for college and that college prepared him for his next step after college. Dr. Bolton also mentioned when asked, that the reason he became a teacher was that his dad too was a teacher. “ I wrote a paper in sixth grade that basically said that I wanted to become my dad; he was a teacher, a principle, and a superintendent. Both my parents were teachers and people always talked about how they were such great teachers, so I’ve known for a long time what I wanted to be.”

I think it’s safe to say that Pennridge is in good hands with our new superintendent. Dr. Bolton. He carries out his job with great care, class, and a touch of humor. His tenure at Central Bucks has certainly prepared him for his upcoming years at Pennridge and even though he has only been a part of the community for a few months, many already feel his positive energy spreading within each and every school. All kids from Kindergarteners to high school seniors can see the magic he brings to our district. If that’s not enough to convince you then I’m sure his answer to my final question will.

I thought it very important to know Dr. Bolton’s views on one important subject. This subject is what keeps our community going, what makes us cry with joy, and what makes us scream with anger. Yes, Dr. Bolton is an Eagles fan ( Also a large fan of the Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers). And yes, he will be making a decision on whether or not the schools will be in session if the birds win the Superbowl again. ( Knock on wood)