Craig Boles brings a diversity of experience in education to his new job as principal of Brookfield Middle School.
“This will be my 23rd year in education,” he said following his June 26 hiring to fill the vacancy left by Toby Gibson’s ascension to superintendent.
“I’ve taught from kindergarten to college,” Boles said. “I coached youth sports, varsity sports, I’ve been an athletic director. I have five years of principal’s experience coming from Crestwood, which is over in Portage County. I’ve taught low socio-economic (students) to the upper echelon of kids. I’m just excited to be here.”
Leaving a job as assistant principal at Crestwood, Boles said he wants “to lead these kids, lead this staff so we can better all the kids through getting to know each kid, getting integration with technology, just growing the vision of Brookfield Local schools.”
“I’m going to be a student-centered guy,” said the 47-year-old resident of Bazetta. “I want to be in the hallway, I want to be high-fiving kids for doing the smallest thing.”
He has experience with the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program, which Brookfield will implement this year in all grades.
Brookfield is assembling a team to organize the PBIS program.
“It will be similar to last year in the fact that there are rewards given for different actions that the students do and that is going to be tailored to buildings, what’s appropriate for elementary as opposed to what’s appropriate for the high school,” said Adam Lewis, the new director of teaching, learning and accountability. “As far as the actual rewards, we haven’t figured that out but it’s gonna be similar to what we’ve been doing.”
“Adding Craig Boles is going to be a definite bonus with his experience with PBIS and its implementation,” Gibson said. “He’s gonna bring a lot to the table. I think he’s gonna make us a better staff.”
Boles said he wants to get the students “to want to know more, stimulating their minds, getting them into a growth mindset.”
One of the ways you do that is by using technology, but there are lower-tech ways of achieving a desire to learn, he said.
“We’re gonna celebrate the little things, because I want every kid to walk in every day knowing that they’re safe and that they’re gonna learn and want to come back the next day,” Boles said.
In Boles’ book, integrating technology does not include allowing the use of personal cellphones and other devices at the middle school.
“I am 100 percent for no phones,” he said. “They are a distraction in the classroom. Coming from Crestwood where, in the last couple years, we’ve seen an increase in the cheating and the cyberbullying, things of that nature. I’m not gonna go in here and make major changes. If it’s working and if it’s a safe environment, Mr. Gibson’s done a great job, and I’m not gonna change that.”
Boles will be paid $68,791.