By KIM SMITH DEDAM Press-Republican
---- — LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Central School Board has hired a new Elementary School principal.
Brian Latella, a longtime fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Hamilton Central School, is relocating to accept the job.
Lake Placid Central School District Superintendent Dr. Roger Catania said the hire was made from four finalists, all of whom were contenders for the job.
Latella will replace Javier Perez, who resigned in late April to accept the position of High School principal at AuSable Valley Central School.
“We did a very thorough search. We had excellent candidates, with two rounds of interviews,” Catania said.
“We had four finalists; the other finalists were terrific, too. What impressed us with Brian was his knowledge of the elementary-school classroom.
“He was the math coordinator at Hamilton, and he’s been a teacher there for a number of years. He comes with those strengths.
“We see that as something that is going to be helpful for us.”
Catania said the decision met with optimism from the board and the teaching community.
“I think the feeling is excitement and enthusiasm all around. It’s going to be his first principalship.”
Latella, who will be paid $80,000 a year, is the third new principal to join the district. They all begin working on July 1.
Catania, a former Lake Placid school guidance counselor, just returned to the district as superintendent.
That means all four top administrators are new, with Dana Wood hired as principal at the High School and Teresa Lindsay as Middle School principal.
“We are all starting together here,” Catania said. “We have a brand new administrative team, and part of the excitement is all of us are looking forward to collaborating and cooperating to move this district forward.
“I think we have potential to do some really good things here.”
LOOKING FOR HOME
Wood is a former dean of students from Saranac Lake Middle School. Lindsay was laid off amid budget cuts from her position as principal at Bloomingdale Elementary School.
Latella, 35, is moving here.
“He and his wife, Melissa, have been in Lake Placid looking for a house,” Catania said.
Latella spent a good portion of last week in Lake Placid, attending the School Board meeting last Thursday. And he visited Lake Placid Elementary last Friday.
Mrs. Latella is also a school teacher who will be leaving the Hamilton Central School District, Catania said.
They have two young children.
A successful soccer coach, Latella led Hamilton’s Emerald Knights to Section III Class D championships four years in a row, defeating Chazy Central Rural School in 2008 and 2011.
Hamilton is a small community south of Utica. Latella has worked as a teacher there since 2001.
The newly hired principal could not be reached for comment.
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