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Meet Sharon Moberg, new Sheffield principal

Sharon Moberg is the new Principal at Sheffield Elementary in Montague.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Sharon Moberg is the new Principal at Sheffield Elementary in Montague. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

MONTAGUE — Friday was the second day of classes for Sheffield Elementary School students and Sharon Moberg’s second day in charge of a school full of children, but she begins the new job with the advantage of having already spent a year and a half in the district.

“The families and the communities have been really gracious and really open, and I’ve made a lot of connections already, and that’s always nice, when you can greet a parent and use their first name and know that you’ve connected with them on some level,” Moberg said.

Moberg entered the Gill-Montague Regional School District at the end of 2012 as the building’s assistant principal, when the Sheffield and Hillcrest buildings were still considered a single elementary school under a single principal.

The superintendent and School Committee restored the old distinction between the buildings this year and Superintendent Michael Sullivan promoted Moberg to building principal over the summer.

Moberg, 41, spent her career outside Montague in the Springfield public schools as a teacher in the elementary grades she now supervises, and as a staff trainer and curriculum planner.

Moberg said she went into education for children.

“That’s probably the reason I went into education, to be able to connect with little people and impact their lives, and I’ve been able to do that in really amazing ways throughout my career, it’s something I feel pretty proud about,” Moberg said.

Administration, she said, was recommended by colleagues in order to expand her reach. “I went back, did some more schooling and I’m finding it’s a really good fit for me,” Moberg said.

The first days of school were going smoothly, Moberg said, crediting her staff and older students for helping the new ones adjust.

The school has about 250 students, with three classrooms at each grade level with the exception of a “bubble” grade, fourth this year, needing a fourth classroom.

Moberg said she believes in teaching beyond worksheets.

“I’ve talked a lot about this with my staff in terms of being sure we’re teaching students lessons that are authentic, that are meaningful, purposeful and connected,” Moberg said. “Those are the kinds of learning experiences and learning tasks that engage children, especially if it can connect to something in their life and they can make those connections and then they’re inquiring and curious and they want to know more.”

Moberg gave as an example a project last year in which students were asked to design cities, calling on artistic, creative, mathematical and logical abilities.

Moberg said she is also working on school pride.

“This is a special place, this school, and I feel people may not know what an amazing place it is, and I’m telling my teachers to really reinforce that with the kiddos,” she said.

Moberg lives in Springfield and has a son, Anthony, 20, in his third year of college.

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