New principal on board at Roxbury

By Julia Green
A puppy. That was one of the bargaining chips that sold new Roxbury Central School principal Eric Windover’s young family on moving to the area.
Windover started his new position at RCS yesterday.
“We’re excited to fill the position permanently and we welcome him to our school as well as his family,” said RCS Superintendent Tom O’Brien. “He’s enthused to be here and that’s the big thing.”
Prior to coming to Roxbury, Windover, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Brockport, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Scranton, and a certificate of advanced studies in education administration from SUNY Brockport, worked in the Rochester City School District, where he had a leadership role even as a teacher.
“I had a wonderful opportunity working with my colleagues to completely rewrite and revamp some curriculum within the science department and take on a leadership role in a very short time within the school district,” he said.
He identified his leadership philosophy as a “we rather than I” mentality, and alluded to the school system as a “professional learning community.”
“We’re all working together for the benefit of our children,” he said. “My own philosophy is that it’s about people, not programs. I’m a people person and I believe our investments are made in working to empower people and help them to achieve their personal potential.”
His turn as Roxbury’s principal will be his first long-term appointment in the administrative realm.
Windover said there were a number of factors surrounding the job that appealed to him, both in regard to Roxbury as a community as well as a school.
“Having a young family, what really appealed to me was the open arms and the warm, friendly demeanor of the people here,” he said. “The smiles, the conversations I had with people, they’re pride-filled, and they’re really dedicated to their community, and I wanted to be part of that pride and commitment.”
He added that a number of the extracurricular opportunities afforded to local residents are right up his family’s alley.
“A lot of things that my family likes to do to relax are right here in Roxbury. We like to ski, fish, be outdoors, and Roxbury has it all. It’s a great place to come and do the family things that we love and enjoy.”
Windover and his wife have two small children. His daughter will be attending pre-K at RCS.
In fact, Windover’s willingness to relocate to the Roxbury area was one of the many factors that got him the job.
“He came across as being extremely bright, and willing to come here and make this his home and expressed a deep sense of dedication toward education and caring for kids,” O’Brien said. “And he had the experience and the enthusiasm that we need. One of the things we find going on in these areas is that there’s a lot of turnover for administrators and superintendents. The transient nature of administrators in rural areas is not good for small schools. We want a good, stable leadership team in our school.
“We’re glad to have Eric here – he’s somebody who wants to make a commitment to our community.”
Windover echoes that excitement, and says he’s ready to get into the swing of things. He has already had the opportunity to attend a staff development day and an open house at RCS, and as such has had the chance to meet with faculty and staff – meetings, he said, that have affirmed his decision.
“There seemed a commitment from the teachers here, hearing of the wonderful things that Tom O’Brien has done and the progress and achievements he has made. It seems that I’m going to be a nice fit in terms of the teachers I’ve met to work together as a teaching community to continue the success Roxbury has had.
“Ultimately, if there was any doubt or question mark that I had as to my fit or my transition down here to Roxbury, it has been completely eliminated,” he added. “This is a wonderful staff completely dedicated to the students here, and this is a wonderful community that I’m so happy to become a part of.”