June 8, 2013

Stafford Middle School principal chosen


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Jamie LaBarge will soon leave Plattsburgh High School to take over as principal of Stafford Middle School. 

At Thursday night’s meeting, the School Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing the PHS assistant principal as successor to Patty Amo, who has led the Middle School for the past nine years and will retire July 2.

“We have a lot of faith and confidence that the Middle School and the rest of our district is going to be in a very good place with him anchoring that for us,” City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short told the Press-Republican after the meeting. 

LaBarge received a three-year probationary appointment, effective July 1, at a base salary of $93,495 for 2013-14. 

“I look forward to creating positive relationships with the students and the staff that will foster a rich atmosphere of learning and enrichment,” he said after the session. 

LaBarge and Ted Binion, a special-education teacher at Spotsylvania Middle School in Virginia and former principal of Willink Middle School in Webster, emerged as finalists for the position out of a pool of 10 applicants, who were reviewed and interviewed by the district’s search committee. 

The two men then introduced themselves and presented their visions for Stafford Middle School at a recent public forum, where Short invited audience members to submit written feedback.

Following the forum, the School Board conducted final interviews of the candidates. 


Short said he, along with search committee members, the board and the constituents who were a part of the review process, felt LaBarge was the best person for the job due to “his long-term educational background as a teacher (and) his proven track record at Plattsburgh High School”

In addition, he noted LaBarge is “a trustworthy and loyal leader,” and “he will add a very good element to Stafford Middle School and a good, transparent leadership going forward.”

Before joining PHS, LaBarge taught global studies at both Moriah and Northern Adirondack central schools, as well as eighth-grade at NACS. He holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching and master’s in curriculum and instruction from SUNY Plattsburgh and administration certification from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

He will step down from his post at PHS, which he has held since 2009, at the end of June. 

“I will miss the entire school community at PHS,” LaBarge said. “The students, faculty, staff and parents have been great to work with. I’ve created a lot of relationships with all the stakeholders, and it will be a tough school to leave, but I know that, working through Stafford Middle School, I will not lose touch with the High School students. 

“And hopefully, I can create a transition to help the students from the Middle School to the High School.”

Short said the district plans to begin advertising the vacant assistant principal position fairly soon and have LaBarge’s successor in place by late July or early August. 

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