By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — TICONDEROGA — Retired school administrator Paul Berkheimer will assume the duties of interim principal at Ticonderoga High School when Michael Graney leaves for his new job.
Graney will start as principal at Bolton Central School in Warren County on Wednesday, and Berkheimer will serve at Ticonderoga until the end of the school year in June 2013.
Earlier this year, Berkheimer retired after 32 years as principal of Jackson Heights Elementary School in Glens Falls.
He starts at Ti on Wednesday, when the holiday vacation ends, Ticonderoga School Superintendent John McDonald Jr. said.
“We interviewed several people. He has over 30 years experience in administration. We needed someone to keep the ship afloat.”
He said Berkheimer will provide the stability of leadership they need while looking for a new principal. The Ticonderoga School Board approved paying him $375 a day as interim principal.
The district will begin seeking a new principal in February or March, McDonald said.
“We’ll do a search and look for a permanent replacement.”
Three teachers at Ticonderoga High worked at Jackson Heights Elementary when Berkheimer was there.
“He knows some of the people here,” McDonald said. “I’m pleased with Paul. This one was the best fit for Ticonderoga.”
‘A NICE FIT’
Graney has agreed to come back when he can to help with the transition at Ticonderoga High School, McDonald said.
“We’re going to miss Mike. He was an exceptional principal at the High School. This is his career path, and we wish him the best.”
At Ticonderoga High School, Graney was credited with developing several new programs, including marine technology and alternative high school.
Graney is a Ticonderoga native and graduated from Ticonderoga High School. Before going to Bolton, he’d spent most of his career as a teacher and administrator in the Ticonderoga School District. He was High School principal for 11 years.
“There’s a great staff here at Ticonderoga High School,” Graney said. “If the next person just lets the staff guide him, he’ll be fine.”
He said he didn’t like leaving but was looking for new challenges.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Ticonderoga tremendously. I already know many people at Bolton and admire their school district. It feels like a nice fit for me there, personally and professionally.”
Ticonderoga High School has about 300 students in grades nine through 12. At Bolton, Graney will be principal of the entire school, prekindergarten through 12th grade, about 230 students.
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