December 18, 2012

Lake Placid interim principal departs


---- — LAKE PLACID — School officials are looking to replace the interim Lake Placid High School principal.

The School Board will accept the resignation today of Greg Camelo, the retired BOCES administrator who was hired in July to fill the position left vacant with the sudden departure of Katherine Mulderig in April.

Camelo told school officials then that he would be available for only half of the school year.


District Superintendent Dr. Randy Richards said they initiated a job search shortly after school began and received 40 applicants.

“We advertised this past fall,” Richards said Monday. “Our finalist withdrew right at the very end.”

The School Board will begin to look at the hiring process anew.

“I expect late this spring they will re-post the job opening. But we want to get someone in there for now who can help the students and faculty day to day,” Richards said.

The superintendent said he would look to BOCES for a short-term hire.


The High School principal manages school programming for grades 9 through 12.

In the same Middle/High School building, another principal handles administration for grades 6 through 8.

The two jobs have been shared for the past several years. 

But the district has tentatively divided the job, given a desire to review Middle School initiatives and the complexity of new teacher-evaluation procedures.

Both principals manage about the same number of teachers, Richards said.

“Under new performance-review system, there are 23 teachers in each the Middle and High School — they are in the same building. But the number of evaluations that have to be completed by the end of the year is enormous.

“Each of the reviews involves walk-through of every teacher’s classroom while in session; two evaluations each for non-tenured people; summative evaluations at the end of the year. Plus, you’ve got all the meetings and the administrative work principals do day to day.”

The School Board may look to maintain that division of labor, if possible.

“We had Mr. Camelo come in for the 9-to-12 programming, and Rick Retrosi come in, out of retirement, for the Middle School,” Richards said of the interim solution.

The result has looked to strengthen the Middle School program.

“The strength of that program is that it gets us closer to a true middle-school experience. They get a dedicated leader,” Richards said.

“The School Board is going to begin to discuss what model to choose, working off this new model of having the two jobs split.”

Teachers, staff and coursework are integrated, Richards said of the programs that crisscross the Middle/High School building.


The School Board will begin by accepting Camelo’s resignation tonight.

“The district is grateful for Mr. Camelo’s service and for the fine job that he did,” Richards said in a formal statement.

“In the meantime, Mr. Retrosi will continue in his position as Middle School principal (6-8) and the district will provide extra support to the Middle/High School while we search for another interim High School principal.”

The School Board meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Services building behind the Middle/High School. All meetings are open to the public.

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