By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
---- — PERU — Matthew Slattery will soon step down as Beekmantown Elementary principal to join the administrative team of the Peru Central School District.
Beginning March 4, he will head Peru Elementary School, which three days earlier will have been formed by the merger of Intermediate and Primary schools.
“I’m very excited about this new opportunity with the Peru Central School District,” Slattery told the Press-Republican.
The move is part of a district-wide reorganization at Peru Central, which also calls for the merging of the Middle and High schools to form Peru Secondary School, as well as a shift of administrative responsibilities.
Current Peru Intermediate School Principal Scott Storms will take over as director of the district’s new K-12 Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Development on March 1, and Peru Interim Primary School Principal Peter Atchinson will step down.
Slattery, for whom the Peru School Board recently approved a three-year probationary appointment at an annual salary of $90,000, said the district’s decision to align its kindergarten-through-grade-six program was appealing to him, as he feels it will have a positive impact on students’ educations.
“I believe this design is supportive of the maximum growth of all students, academically and socially,” he said.
Before his appointment, Slattery was interviewed by Peru Central teachers, parents, board members and administrators.
The district’s community members, he said, came across as a caring group, dedicated to the school’s students, while the administrators seemed very forward thinking and appeared to work well together with the best interest of kids in mind.
‘A GREAT FIT’
In addition, Slattery said, the School Board seemed very supportive and understanding of the
importance of the school community, as well as aware of the fiscal dilemmas schools are presently facing.
He added that he looks forward to working with the talented Peru Central community and doing what’s best for the students.
“I just feel like it’s really going to be a great fit for me professionally.”
Still, noted Slattery, who has served as principal of Beekmantown Elementary for the past four years, he values the time he has spent at BCSD.
“It has been my distinct privilege to be the leader of Beekmantown Elementary School, and I will truly miss every student, family, faculty and staff member I have worked with.
“I have the deepest respect for this wonderful group, our accomplishments with students, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for Eagle pride,” he said.
Slattery’s official last day at BCSD will be March 1. However, he said, when the district aligns his permanent or interim replacement, he will take a personal day from Peru Central to meet with that person and try to make his or her transition into Beekmantown Elementary as smooth as possible.
Before joining BCSD, Slattery served as assistant principal of Northeastern Clinton Middle High School for two years and a special-education teacher at Plattsburgh High School for four years.
He began his career in education as a special-education teacher at Champlain Valley Educational Services.
“We’re very excited about having Matt join our team,” Peru Central Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein told the Press-Republican.
He noted that Slattery brings a lot of experience, as well as a love of the North Country.
“I think he was by far the most desirable candidate,” the superintendent said.
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