CAPE ELIZABETH — As the new director of instructional support, Jane Golding said she has the best job in the School Department.
Golding said education and her field in particular has changed dramatically over the years and she enjoys learning and understanding new information, reading about new trends and working with different teams.
The School Board hired Golding in June, and she started her post in late August. She replaced Dominic DePatsy, who left to become director of instructional support in Regional School Unit 5 (Freeport, Pownal, Durham).
Golding is married, lives in Gorham, and has two grown children.
She has worked in special education since 1971, when she taught first grade and special education in Westbrook, until 1988. She worked for 10 years in the Portland School Department as the assistant director of special education and in Yarmouth as the director of instructional support for 10 years.
Most recently, Golding was the director of targeted student support in the District of Columbia Public School System. There were 45,000 students in 127 schools in the district, she said.
Golding helped establish early intervention pre-referrals to special education through a student support team process, and implemented a new student code of discipline.
She said moving to the Cape Elizabeth school district was an opportunity unlike others in the southern Maine. She said the Cape school district is a place she can focus on children’s needs with fewer organizational barriers.
“I’ve always had a sense of urgency,” Golding said. “I’m impatient and need to do what is right for any students.”
She said she is looking forward to working with staff to take the resources available and use them differently to meet the children’s needs.
“I want children and grownups to learn everyday,” she said. “I want learning to be purposeful and useful and timely. I want to build strong K-12 teams and have them communicate with one another.”
Golding said she is excited about developing professional learning networks so that educators and parents in Cape can share ideas, literature and resources with people in nearby districts. Making these connections and having useful conversations about books and national trends in education provides educators with extra learning tools, which is an “important and exciting” resource, she said.
“This is about partnering with everyone we can partner with,” Golding said.
She said she hears from parents that there is a need for more communication, more strategies and more updates. Staff have indicated a need for more resources to help children learn, and that they to want to continue to learn.
“As I move through this career, I believe the only reason we are here is for the children,” Golding said. “If I can go home and say I did the best I could for the students today and continue to learn how to improve for tomorrow, I’ve succeeded.”
Jane Golding is Cape Elizabeth’s new director of instructional support.