Associate Principal Elise Baerga from Smyrna High School is going back in time to the fifth and sixth grade in early January. She will be relocating to John Bassett Moore Intermediate School, still as an associate principal. She is taking over JBM’s associate principal role for current associate principal, Pat Grant once he moves to North Smyrna Elementary.


Associate Principal Elise Baerga from Smyrna High School is going back in time to the fifth and sixth grade in early January. She will be relocating to John Bassett Moore Intermediate School, still as an associate principal. She is taking over JBM’s associate principal role for current associate principal, Pat Grant once he moves to North Smyrna Elementary.
   

Baerga’s first job in the district was as a special education science teacher. She taught eighth grade in the Philadelphia School District for three and a half years, then went to the Christina School District and taught fourth grade for a year. She moved into the Smyrna area while teaching at Christina. She now resides in Clayton.
   

Baerga said she can’t wait to move to the intermediate school and discover the diverse personalities and characteristics of her new students.
   

“I’m excited to learn and work with the staff and to get experience with the different age groups,” Baerga said. “It’s always challenging with different age groups. My experience with kids prepared me. Working with the older kids has given me great skills to help them be more successful. It’s afforded me to be more patient.”
   

Baerga said being unfamiliar with the staff and school could be a little challenging.
   

“It’s different when you don’t know the students,” she said. But some of the students at JBM know her, which makes the transition a little easier.
   

“I have a lot of siblings of my students at the high school now,” Baerga said.
   

She enjoyed moving from teacher to associate principal.
   

“The transition was great,” she said. “I was sad I was leaving the classroom but I was able to work with more students and tackle more issues. In time, it got easier.”
   

She likes working in Smyrna and wants to continue to work here for years to come.  
   

“I’m really lucky to be here,” Baerga said. “This district inspired me to become an administrator. I’m sad to leave the students and the teachers but I’m really excited to have a fresh start. It’s a nice change and I get to spend more time with my children.”
   

Baerga is ready for the many changes the intermediate school brings.
   

“Every job comes with some sort of challenge and they’re going to vary from place to place. There’s challenges in every age group,” she said. “It’s about how you handle those challenges and learn from them. It’s the same approach [with every age group]. You have to be respectful and you have to show you care.”