Press-Republican

August 12, 2013

Saranac Central undergoes administrative changes

By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — SARANAC — Administrative changes are underway in Saranac Central School District. 

Effective Aug. 21, Jeffrey Durant will resign as the district’s Middle School principal and athletic director to accept the position of principal of Morristown Central School District in St. Lawrence County. 

“It was an incredibly tough decision,” he said of leaving Saranac Central. “I’m leaving a wonderful student body and staff and community.”

‘POSITIVE ATTITUDE’

Durant served as the school’s athletic director for two and a half years before taking on the additional role of Middle School principal in September 2011. 

“His positive attitude and conscientious manner will be missed,” SCSD Superintendent Kenneth Cringle said of Durant. “The district wishes him the best in his new position.”

Through his dual roles at Saranac Central, Durant noted, he was able to get to know the student body not only academically but through extracurricular activities, as well. 

“My goal as Middle School principal was to make sure every student felt a part of the school outside of the classroom,” he said. 

PRINCIPAL SEARCH

The district has launched a statewide search for a new Middle School principal and will be accepting applications through Wednesday, Aug. 21, with interviews planned for the following week. 

Durant added that his replacement will be fortunate to work in such a supportive school community. 

“It’s a great place to be,” he said of SCSD. 

NEW SPORTS DIRECTOR

The post of district athletic director has been filled by Brent Denis, who is under contract through June 30, 2014, at a prorated stipend of $10,212. 

In addition to his athletic duties, Denis will continue in his current roles as Saranac boys varsity basketball coach and Middle School guidance counselor. 

During his 13 years in the district, the former SUNY Plattsburgh basketball team captain has also served as interim Middle School principal and assistant High School principal. 

“Interscholastic athletics are an integral part of the educational program,” Denis said. “I feel the health and safety of our student athletes is top priority.”  

“I hope to build a strong relationship with our Booster Club and continue the reputation of class and excellence that Saranac has worked hard to establish.”

NEW POSITION

The district has also created a new administrative position to assist with duties related to the state-mandated Annual Professional Performance Review of teachers and principals, as well as the alignment and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Effective Aug. 6, Connie Garman became Saranac Central’s first coordinator of curriculum, instruction and special education at a prorated salary of $75,000. 

The Tupper Lake native began her career at Saranac Central 17 years ago as a substitute teacher. Since then, Garman has served on several SCSD committees, including the School Based Inquiry Team and District Professional Development Committee. 

She currently acts as the district representative to a regional curriculum council.

She holds a Master of Science degree in education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership. 

Garman is also certified in pre-K through sixth-grade elementary education and K-through-12 reading specialization. 

“Mrs. Garman’s experience, education background and commitment to teaching and learning will enable her to assist the district in building upon the academic standing of the Saranac Central School District,” Cringle said. 

Garman has been assigned to spend 30 percent of her time at the High School, 25 percent at the Middle School, 25 percent at Saranac Elementary and the remaining 20 percent at Morrisonville Elementary. 

“I enthusiastically look forward to working with Connie as we strive toward increasing achievement and success for all students,” Cringle said. 

Email Ashleigh Livingston:alivingston@pressrepublican.com