Most everyone knows a teacher in their life who made a difference.
For Jim Collin, it was a high school guidance counselor and a teacher who inspired him to pursue teaching.
“They saw something in me, a quality, that an educator might need,” he said. “I remember that connection vividly.”
Collin was hired this year as Assistant Superintendent for Suffield Schools. He previously served as a principal at Watertown Public Schools.
Collin jumped right into the job this fall and into the intense change in curriculum to the Common Core State Standards. He oversees the shift in teaching and testing and he recently presented the framework not only to staff but to parents during community forums.
While he sometimes misses the in-depth connection with kids that one gets on a daily basis as a teacher, he is excited to help lead from the top, especially during this transition period.
”I’m connected at a very abstract level,” he explained, adding he can set the tone for change and help make sure everyone involved is given the tools he or she needs to succeed.
“It really is about what you can do to impact (a student’s) future and their skill set,” he said.
As he was once guided by mentors, he too has taken students under his wing.
“The beauty of the job is when you see kids in need or someone struggling, you can help,” he explained. “It’s an opportunity to shape someone’s future.”
Collin, who lives in New Britain, is a “weekend warrior” on the golf course and continues to run regularly although it’s been some years since he ran the Hartford, Marine Corps and Cape Cod Marathons.
His two children inspire him daily. Lauren is in graduate school and Keith is a sophomore at his alma mater, Central Connecticut State University.
He is celebrating his 25th anniversary with wife Kris, an intensive care nurse.