THOMASTON — Regional School Unit 13 has found a new principal for Oceanside Middle School, pending the school board’s approval at its June 3 meeting.
Colden Golann, currently an assistant principal at Belfast Area High School, has been selected as the individual tasked with creating a culture and tradition for the Thomaston school.
Prior to his time in Belfast, the Union resident worked at Islesboro Central School as the lead teacher for the middle school level and as a co-athletic director. Serving as one of two athletic directors at Islesboro, Golann not only coordinated athletic events and performed other regular administrative tasks but also coordinated ferry and water taxi trips.
“Working in such a small school gave me really cool opportunities to fill multiple roles in athletics and academics right from the beginning,” Golann said in a PenBayPilot.com interview.
His time at Islesboro provided him the opportunity to shape the middle school’s identity in the school that serves kindergarten through high school students, an experience he noted will be key for him in forthcoming role at Oceanside.
“This experience taught me many lessons about the process of establishing a culture and identity,” he said. “It can be a tough and awkward process at times, but if everyone buys into a common goal, the vision will find its way into every aspect of the school.”
Golann, throughout his career as an educational administrator, has been slowly moving toward serving as a principal.
“I chose this career because I love working with people, and especially working with kids,” he said.
Though he appreciated his time at Belfast Area High School, he knew this opportunity was the moment he had been patiently waiting for and the right place for him thanks, in large part, to the fact his fiancé (who lives with him and their nine chickens, two pigs, and five-year-old yellow lab in Union) works at Oceanside High School and his familiarity with the RSU 13 community through friend and community events, as well as his work with Trekkers, the Midcoast youth development nonprofit.
To work closely with middle school students was an added bonus.
“The growth that happens in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade is remarkable and allows the opportunity to support students as they grow from children to young adults,” Golann commented.
The biggest challenge facing Golann is to identify the school’s culture and tradition, a piece of the puzzle yet to be completed due to a multitude of incontrollable factors.
“Throughout the interview and application process, I heard repeatedly that OMS is a school that has yet to have a complete, calm year since it was reorganized,” said Golann. “Construction, COVID and other factors have led to a school that has yet to carve out its own identity in the community. I think that this is a significant challenge but also a great opportunity to work with staff and students to establish a culture and tradition of who we want to be at Oceanside Middle School.”
As Golann works to mold the school’s culture and tradition, he plans to work hand-in-hand with the school’s key stakeholders, the students and staff, to create a welcoming place where students can grow as individuals and challenge themselves academically.
“The most important part of any school vision is that it is built with all stakeholders in mind [and] I look forward to getting to know the students and staff of OMS and working together on a specific vision and identity for the school,” said Golann. “At this point my larger vision for OMS is for it to be a place where every student and teacher feels a part of a community that supports each other, while providing a high level of education for every student in a way that is relevant, engaging and personalized.”
Those stakeholders have already made an impression on Golann, and he is eager to tackle the new job, knowing he has support from colleagues.
“I have been struck by the people I met in the interview process and those that have reached out to me since then,” he commented. “One of my favorite quotes from author Todd Whitaker is that ‘great people make great schools.’ Everyone I have met and heard from has told me that this is a school in a district with a lot of great people, and I am excited to work with them to build a great school.”
Golann’s passion for his work is evident, all the moreso in taking time to answer a series of questions over email the morning of a school holiday.
“I will work to know every kid’s name, what their lives are like, and what they need to be successful at school,” he wrote, as he encouraged community members to connect with him in the coming months to address questions, concerns or to just chat. “I look forward to meeting as many people as I can in the RSU 13 community.”