PLATTSBURGH — Stafford Middle School principal candidates Ted Binion and Jamie LaBarge shared their visions at a recent public forum.
“The teachers, students (and) the administration are temporary inhabitants of this school,” Binion said. “It’s the community’s school, and what we need to do is we need to keep growing and building on what has happened before us.”
Before his current post as a special-education teacher at Spotsylvania Middle School in Virginia, Binion served as an administrator at two separate middle schools, including Willink Middle School in Webster, where he was principal.
The SUNY Potsdam graduate earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, has taught middle-school social-studies and English and sits on the Virginia Middle School Association Board of Directors.
He has also presented at conferences focused on interdisciplinary teaching, anti-bullying and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports at the middle-school level.
Binion said he wants Stafford to be a school where students are actively engaged in their own learning and a place that models collaboration and open communication.
“We have to make sure that we are working together because working together, you can accomplish so much more,” he said.
In addition, he noted, he expects that when students leave Stafford Middle School, they will be well on their way to future success.
“I want critical thinkers to leave this school because when they leave this school, they’re going to the High School, and when they leave the High School, I want to make sure that they are college- and career-ready.”
Binion added that while he will undoubtedly make mistakes, he is determined to learn from them.
“I will never make the same mistake twice,” he said.
LaBarge, currently the assistant principal of Plattsburgh High School, also told the crowd he would like the school to be a place from which critical thinkers emerge.