William Hammond

In his five years as principal of Marion Cross Elementary, William S. Hammond has led his team in establishing a French language program that starts in kindergarten, and has seen how early second language learning has boosted student performance in other subjects such as math and music. He and his team implemented Forest Fridays, an innovative outdoor education experience where kindergarteners spend the majority of their Fridays outdoors, exploring the forest and building a strong foundation in science, natural history, and literacy proficiency. Environmentally-based science education is a strong part of other grades’ experiences, too, through the Learning about the Environment through Experiential Education Program. Hammond continues to explore and adopt Next Generation Science Standards to ensure students are getting a high-quality STEM education. Hammond has encouraged the use of student progress-tracking technology, which staff have embraced wholeheartedly and use for targeted academic interventions. Hammond consciously promotes a summit-seeking, growth-oriented mindset in his staff and students, and works to develop leadership amongst the entire school constituency. One Marion Cross teacher explains, Hammond’s “deep sense of justice, his openness to creative exploration, his faith in democratic decision-making, his appreciation of nuance, his lack of dogmatism, and yes, his love of humanity, have shaped a new vision for Marion Cross.” Hammond holds an A.B. and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College and a Principal Certification from Upper Valley Educators Institute.