By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Beekmantown Middle School Principal James Knight Jr. will leave the district to become the next principal of Malone Middle School.
At a meeting Tuesday night, the Malone Central School Board appointed Knight to the position for a period of three years and an annual salary of $90,000.
Knight will vacate his post at Beekmantown Central on Nov. 30 and take over in Malone on Dec. 3.
“We are thrilled to find a leader who has experience, and not just experience, but experience that was valued by the people who worked with him,” said Malone Central School Board President Wayne Rogers.
Knight will replace Bob Stewart, who resigned as Middle School principal in August to accept a job at Parishville/Hopkinton Central School in St. Lawrence County.
John Scheindegger has been serving as interim Middle School principal since the beginning of the school year.
Originally from Saranac Lake, Knight joined Beekmantown Central nine years ago as a special education teacher in the High School and was appointed Middle School principal in 2010.
In addition to his teaching and administrative experience, Knight also coached Beekmantown’s varsity baseball team and was named Coach of the Year by his peers in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference multiple times.
Rogers said Knight had the most experience of the 23 candidates who applied for the position and was chosen by the district’s search committee as the best fit for the school.
Knight told the Press-Republican his decision to leave Beekmantown Central wasn’t easy, as he’s worked with phenomenal staff in the Middle School.
But for personal reasons, he said, he feels moving to Malone Central will be a positive opportunity for him and his family.
“It provides me the opportunity to lead in a district that is strongly based around the community,” he said.
Knight added that he looks forward to sharing his experiences and background with people in another area of northern New York.
WILL HIRE INTERIM
After accepting Knight’s resignation at a separate meeting Tuesday night, the Beekmantown Central School Board gave Superintendent Scott Amo permission to begin looking for individuals interested in serving as interim principal of the Middle School through the end of the current school year.
Once a temporary replacement can be found, Amo said at the meeting, the board can look at trying to find someone to permanently take over for Knight.
“We want to get a person at the helm as fast as we can,” Amo said.
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