New principal returns home to assume administrative role at elementary

Shane McBroom is the new elementary principal at Chatfield. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS

Shane McBroom’s certain of it: There’s no place like home.

McBroom has recently been hired as the Chatfield elementary principal and is pleased to be able to survey his hometown from the windows of his office at the elementary school perched atop the hill southeast of town.

“I’ve never had the desire to go anywhere else. I’ve lived here my whole life and I know a lot of people here. I guess I never would’ve thought that it would end up happening, but I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to be back home,” McBroom said. “My whole family is in town, so I’m fortunate to have that unique situation. It’s not so often that your siblings and parents are in the same place, too.”

McBroom is a Chatfield High School graduate who feels strongly that his teachers and coaches here made all the difference in his decision to become an educator.

“I had a real positive experience with helpful teachers and coaches, people that cared and pushed me. This is an opportunity for me to give back to the community,” he said.

He outlined that his post-secondary education took him on a rather long journey away from home, but not too far from home, as the furthest he ever moved was to Dover.

“I took a roundabout way. I went to RCTC, got my two-year degree in business. At Minnesota State Mankato, I finished my undergraduate in business management, went to the University of Minnesota for my business and marketing education license, and from there, I went to Saint Mary’s University to get my principal’s license,” McBroom explained. “It seemed like I was always in school or working, but I taught business and marketing classes at Rochester’s Century High School, was a hybrid elementary-high school principal at Rushford-Peterson for five years, and I spent the last five years in St. Charles as an elementary principal.”

He’s now in the company of one of his former teachers and coaches as he returns to Chatfield as a principal, and he plans to make it his goal to do for his students what his teachers and coaches did for him.

He related that he likes working with children and their families. “I really enjoy working with kids,” McBroom reiterated. “Every day, I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on what direction they’ll go, and I like seeing them succeed and get excited. I just enjoy working with the kids and the staff members as a team to meet the needs of every child in the building. There are a lot of kids, parents, families that come through the door every day. It’s an exciting place to be.”

McBroom commented that he feels students need to know that they’re valued. “They need an atmosphere where they feel like they’re cared for, they need to find a purpose for being in school, and sometimes they need to be motivated,” he said. “We need to find the way to best meet each child’s needs.”

He described himself as a hard worker and feels respect is very important. “I respect people and expect respect in return,” McBroom said. “I am supportive and value interactions with people.”

He observed that he won’t make unnecessary changes as he takes charge of the elementary operation. “My approach in starting the school year is that it’s important to learn the position and how things are working, provide my support to the staff members so they can do the job they need to do,” he stated. “It’s important to build on it — this place is doing very well, so I’m not looking to make many changes. If there are areas here that need improvement, we’ll take a look at them together. The biggest thing I look forward to is working with kids, working with teachers, being a part of the success that takes place in this building. I had the opportunity to coach some of the kids and connect with them, and I’m looking forward to that in a different role.”

McBroom cited that families play a vital role in students’ development. “Family is an important component. They support children as they grow, and I feel that I have a job to do, that it’s my responsibility to do it,” he said. “I enjoy the experience of being in Chatfield for my career. It allows me to continue to be in town. I value my family — they’re important — and there are just a number of people who have been positive in my life. This is a beautiful town. This is home for me and my family.”

The principal won’t be far from any of his own family as he’s at work, also, as his wife, April, is teaching preschool, his daughter is down the hall in fifth grade, and his son is entering third grade.

“My wife, April, is teaching preschool two days a week, and we have our daughter, Aspen, who’s in fifth grade, our son, Brandt, who’s in third grade, and we have a two-year-old, Cayleigh,” McBroom said.

He enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing and taking his children out in the woods. “I enjoy sports – they’re very important to me, as I look back and how I’ve gotten to this point — and I like to look at this as a team approach,” he said. “I’m aware that there are a lot of families that I don’t know, even though I have been here my whole life, and that’s exciting, too. I look forward to bringing my skill set here and helping families in the community.”

McBroom is available by email at and welcomes anyone who has questions to stop in his office if there’s a moment for him to spare.