For the past 7 years it has been my pleasure to be the Superintendent of Schools in New Hartford. I am fortunate to be part of a wonderful school system where people are committed to helping children achieve their fullest potential. I am also aware of the level of support provided by this great community. I am committed to sustaining the substantial progress that has been made as a school district and am excited to assume the challenges and opportunities that await me as Superintendent of Schools.
I believe that the most important thing in our schools is that they operate as true learning communities. The dynamic interaction that occurs each day between student and teacher is critical, and I will do everything I can to ensure that this relationship is nurtured. I believe that respect must be demonstrated at all times by all people who enter our schools. If we expect our students to be respectful, we must model respect each day! I believe that our building principals should be educational leaders first and building managers second. I believe that education is an investment in our future and we must do everything we can to ensure that this investment flourishes. I believe that schools should be exciting, happy places where students feel secure and safe and are encouraged to question and explore new ideas. I have high expectations for myself and I believe our schools should be places where high expectations for every student and every staff member is the norm. As a result of high expectations, our students will achieve great feats. I believe that our schools should be clean and inviting and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are. I believe that optimism is contagious and pessimism is self-defeating. I love to laugh and believe that humor and enjoyment have a place in our schools. I am a product of the “American dream” and I am convinced that we must perpetuate our democratic ideals to our students. I believe in a well-rounded curriculum anchored in rigorous academics, reflective of our state frameworks and local curriculum, and enriched and enhanced by the arts, physical education, and technology, I believe that we must celebrate our accomplishments, our diversity, and our many strengths. I believe that as a community we work as a community and that every responsible person should have input into the goals and long range planning of our school system. I believe in cooperation and in everyone pulling their fair share of the load. I believe that our staff development program must be linked to our long range plan and focused on the improvement of teaching and learning in our schools. I believe that administrators, including the superintendent, must be visible to staff, to students, and to the community. I believe in safe, orderly schools, and logical consequences for students who misbehave. Our goal should be to change behavior, not punish. Finally, I believe that we all must demonstrate fairness, honesty, respect and integrity with everyone we meet and in everything we do each day.
As an educational leader I understand the increased challenges of teaching and administering in schools today. I possess extensive familiarity working in regional settings, as well as extensive knowledge working on town boards, such as building committees, school councils, school committees, and finance boards. I understand the complications of the change process, that it cannot be oversimplified, and the importance of such things as flexibility, diplomacy, creativity, celebration, and recognition. As a husband and father of six, I have learned the value of family and community and found new meaning through housing young foster children, taking in a foreign exchange student, caring for a sick parent, coaching a baseball team, volunteering at my church. All these experiences have contributed to who I am both personally and professional and ultimately have had a very positive impact on the growing demands of my school leadership experiences. I continue to believe that our children’s extended environment shapes their learning, and in turn their development as community members. It is for this reason that I remain committed to strengthening the teaching/learning process, the collaboration of parents and community members in our schools, and the growing value of locally controlled, public education in our cities and towns.