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From the Superintendent

Welcoming new leaders to our team

Interim Superintendent Kimberly Young Wilkins, Ed.D., announced the addition of nine new administrators to the City School District of Albany on July 20, 2016, in preparation for the start of the 2016-17 school year.

 

The City School District of Albany has filled several administrative positions as it looks ahead to the 2016-17 school year, including an important academic appointment on our senior leadership team.

 

The district has hired veteran Schenectady City School District educator Lori McKenna to serve as assistant superintendent for instruction. McKenna, currently the director of planning and accountability in Schenectady, will replace Ken Cioffi, who has filled the position temporarily in an interim role.

 

McKenna was among several administrative appointments confirmed at the July 14 Board of Education meeting. The board also appointed Kent Baker as the district’s new chief information officer at its June 16 meeting.

 

We are so fortunate to be able to bring these dedicated, experienced professionals to Albany as we look ahead to new beginnings throughout our district in 2016-17. I am confident that these new members of our team will play integral roles in advancing our mission to educate and prepare our 9,500 students for success.

 

McKenna begins in Albany on Aug. 22 and will join Cecily Wilson-Turner as the district’s two assistant superintendents charged with supporting the district’s 17 building leaders.

 

McKenna began her career as an elementary teacher in Schenectady from 1992-2001. She has held a variety of district-level positions over the past 15 years, serving in her current senior-level position since 2011. She will be responsible for supporting the district’s middle schools and Albany High School.

 

Additional new appointments are:

  • Chief information officer – Baker returns to Albany to fill this newly created senior-level position with responsibilities for data, assessment and technology. Baker served as the Schenectady school district’s assistant director for planning and accountability during the 2015-16 school year. He was an elementary principal in the Ballston Spa school district for the second half of the 2014-15 school year after serving as director of educational data and reporting at the State Education Department. He was Ballston Spa’s chief information officer from 2009-14 following a 16-year career in Albany. He served as the district’s technology integration specialist from 2004-06 and instructional technology coordinator from 2006-08 following 12 years as an elementary teacher.

  • Pupil Personnel Services – Veteran Albany administrator Timothy Fowler was appointed interim director. Fowler has served as the district’s assistant director of special education since 2013. Prior to that he served as principal at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) from 2008-13, and as assistant principal at Albany School of Humanities (ASH) from 2006-08. He replaces Anthony Albanese, who resigned at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

  • Early Childhood Office – Melissa Hasty was promoted to the new position of director in this expanding area of academic priority, focusing on prekindergarten through second grade. Hasty has served as early childhood coordinator since 2009, overseeing nearly 100 percent growth in the district’s pre-K programs to more than 1,000 seats for 3- and 4-year-olds for the 2016-17 school year. Hasty served as an elementary teacher in the district from 1998-2009.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – John Slyer is the district’s new instructional supervisor in this area for grades 6-12. He joins the district from Shaker Junior High School in Latham, where he served as a life science and enriched science teacher since 1996. He replaces Doreen Mitchell, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

  • Transportation – Denise Towne is the new director of transportation. Towne comes to Albany from Schenectady, where she had served as that school district’s transportation supervisor since November. She also previously has been responsible for transportation services in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Schoharie school districts, and in Rensselaer. She also has served as a dispatcher and began her career as a school bus driver, including experience in Albany. She replaces Joe Verrigni, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

  • Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) principal -- Teresa L. Brown, a veteran educator with administrative leadership experience at the elementary, middle and high-school levels, will serve as the new leader of Albany's science- and technology-themed magnet elementary school.

  • Albany High School assistant house principals – The board appointed Jason Breh and Suzann Cornell to these new positions. The district converted two existing office-assigned teacher positions to assistant principals for 2016-17 to provide additional administrative support at the 2,500-student school.

    • Breh comes to Albany from Berlin Central Schools, where he served as principal of the middle school from 2010 through the end of last school year. He began his career as an art educator at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vt., and in Berlin (grades 6-12) from 2001-10. At Albany High, he will provide support to the Citizenship and Innovation academies.

    • Cornell has served as an elementary literacy coach in Albany since 2013. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher at Pine Hills Elementary school from 1998-2013. At Albany High, she will provide support to the Discovery and Leadership academies.

 

Please join me in welcoming these new leaders to Albany, or in congratulating our current leaders on their new and expanded duties. I am confident they all will play leading roles in helping all of our students and our school district move forward in 2016-17.

Kimberly Young Wilkins, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent

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