CRANFORD - Cranford High School Assistant Principal Dr. Barbara Carroll is retiring at the conclusion of the 2020 school year after 42 years of working in education.
Dr. Carroll taught in several schools prior to arriving at Cranford High School in 1996. Initially working as an English teacher, Carroll was quickly promoted to be the English Department Supervisor, and later the Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs in 2011.
From the beginning of her career, Dr. Carroll has always crusaded for students’ well-being and mental health. One of the goals in assuming her current position was to enrich student’s education, while also minimizing their stress. Dr. Carroll implemented many programs throughout her years at CHS, some of which drastically changed the way in which the school operates. For example, Dr. Carroll is responsible for the implementation of block scheduling. As a teacher, she saw how much homework students had every night, and her goal with the new schedule plan was to reduce daily workload.
But even with the block scheduling, Carroll was not satisfied with her attempt to reduce students’ stress. Striving to foster an even better atmosphere for learning, Carroll created the Mindfulness Program designed to help relax students during lunch with meditation. She also implemented a dog therapy program where trained dogs are brought in to school during lunch to spend time with students in an effort to reduce their anxiety during the school day.
Dr. Carroll also helped initiate the University Program to provide students with more opportunities to academically challenge themselves, and she worked hard to provide SAT Prep classes for students at CHS.
Dr. Carroll also recognizes the importance of experiences outside the classroom. Her Internship Program allows upperclassmen to participate in an internship in place of some of their classes in order to explore new opportunities. Her goal for this program was to provide students with “different and out of the box [experiences].”
With all the programs she has helped implement and all the ways she has made CHS a better place, Dr. Carroll stressed that what has always remained most important to her is helping the students. When asked about her favorite part of working as Assistant Principal, Carroll said, “I’ve pretty much maintained a fairly strong relationship with students which is really important to me… there’s no other reason to do a job like this… and when you have a job that’s administrative, you have a little more power to do what you want for kids.”