Press-Republican

May 10, 2013

Lake Placid hires two principals

High School, Middle School have new leaders for 2013-14

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — LAKE PLACID — A fresh slate of administrators is coming into Lake Placid School District.

Two new principals have been hired to start in July.

At the recent School Board meeting, Dana Wood of Saranac Lake was hired to fill the High School principal’s job.

Wood is currently dean of students at Petrova Middle School in Saranac Lake.

And Theresa Lindsay of Lake Placid was hired as principal of the Middle School.

Lindsay, 50, is currently principal at Bloomingdale Elementary in the Saranac Lake Central School District and was previously a reading specialist at Westport Central School.

The principal’s job at Bloomingdale was one of the cuts made in the proposed Saranac Lake 2013-14 budget.

Wood was hired by Lake Placid at an annual salary of $80,000 and Lindsay at $82,000 per year, according to the district clerk.

Approval of the hires was unanimous.

‘EXCITING’ NEW JOB

In an interview Thursday, Lindsay said that though it was going to be sad leaving Saranac Lake School District, she is looking forward to starting anew.

“I’ve learned a lot from the team that is here. It’s unfortunate, due to budget cuts, that my position was eliminated. But a new door has opened up for me. It will be a new team, and it is exciting.”

Lindsay has worked with Wood, the Saranac Lake Middle School dean of students, so their collaboration is already somewhat familiar.

“He has been our guru here on policies related to bullying. It’s going to be a seamless transition working together for he and I,” Lindsay said.

She has lived in Lake Placid for 15 years and sees the new slate of administrative leadership as a fresh start.

“It’s an opportunity to go in with a fresh look and to really focus on what the district is doing well. It’s exciting, it really is.”

‘ECSTATIC’

Wood, 42, said they start in the new jobs July 1.

“The hope is to get us together and meet with staff before the end of the school year with an eye on beginning July 1. I’m ecstatic, I can’t wait.

“What attracted me? The staff, the students — I’ve worked with a number of these students coaching over the years.

“Currently, I’m coaching modified lacrosse, and we have a merger agreement with Lake Placid, and seven boys from the school on the team. In the past, I’ve coached track and cross-country for Lake Placid while teaching in Saranac Lake.”

Wood said he also looks forward to working with new Superintendent Dr. Roger Catania.

“What also attracted me recently is that I know Dr. Catania. I worked with him when he was a guidance counselor at Lake Placid. Working with him, I know the district is heading in a good direction. The fact that he was coming on board made it even better in terms of the process.”

Catania, who is completing a professorial post at Alfred University, will take over the superintendent’s role here on May 25, replacing outgoing Dr. Randy Richards.

CATANIA INVOLVED

At the same meeting earlier this week, Lake Placid’s School Board accepted the resignation of Elementary School Principal Javier Perez, who is leaving to begin as principal at AuSable Valley High School. That search is under way.

District Clerk Karen Angelopoulos said Catania played an active role throughout the process in hiring administrators for Lake Placid schools.

Reached at his Alfred University office Thursday, Catania said he, too, is excited to get started.

“I anticipate it being a challenging experience, given all that is going on at the end of the school year. But I think we’re looking to re-establish stability and a positive philosophy that is student-centered and relies on the judgment from all in the community. We are looking to re-establish a sense of collaboration and communication.”

Every administrator in Lake Placid is newly hired for the coming school year, or going to be, with the exception of Catania, who was the school’s guidance counselor for more than 12 years.

Retired Elementary School Principal Rick Retrosi has filled the interim role as Middle/High School principal this year.

The next School Board meeting in Lake Placid is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Middle/High School Cafeteria on School Street. The meeting is open to all.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:kdedam@pressrepublican.com