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TOWNSEND — At the end of the current school year, Gwen Warwick will walk through the Spaulding Memorial School halls for the last time as the SMS principal.

“It’s been five fabulous years. The parents have been so supportive,” Warwick said. “The Townsend community is really invested in their children and the school.”

Warwick said the five years that she has been with Spaulding Memorial School have flown by.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at SMS,” she said. “I can’t believe that it’s been five years already.”

Warwick was an assistant principal in Andover for 31 years. She said she enjoyed being there but she wanted to be a principal in a small community. Townsend, she said, was the ideal opportunity.

“I’m very proud of the work that has been done while I’ve been here,” she said. “The school is in an excellent place to continue to move forward.”

Warwick then gave a concrete example of what has been accomplished during her time at SMS.

“For example, a 1993 reading series was being used,” she said. “We’ve switched to a 2007 reading series, which is an integrated Language Arts exemplary reading program.”

The youngsters and their excitement will be missed the most, she said.

“One of my favorite times of the day is during the opening announcements. The children say the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ and sing a song like ‘Yankee Doodle’ or ‘My Country Tis of Thee,'” she said. “And in my office, there is a bulletin board decorated with one of the kindergarten class’s artwork. It really has brightened up my day to see this bulletin.”

Although she might be leaving, Warwick won’t be going far.

“I’ll definitely visit SMS and I’ll be back to read on Community Reading Day,” Warwich said. “I’ve told the teachers and staff that it’s farewell, not good-bye.”

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