Assistant Superintendent Don Stevens to move into top leadership role Nov. 1
The Board of Education has announced that Assistant Superintendent Donald Stevens will succeed Dr. Lori Caplan as the next Superintendent of the Watervliet City School District effective November 1. During the August 12 meeting, board members unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Stevens to the position of Superintendent of Schools for a three-year term upon Dr. Caplan’s retirement at the end of October.
In beginning the search for a successor to Dr. Caplan, the Board of Education met with a number of district employees to ask for their input. “From our conversations with teachers, support staff, the administrative team and other stakeholders, it became abundantly clear that Mr. Stevens is the best choice for the position,” said Board of Education President Amanda Cavanaugh. “This past year especially, he has demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to our district as he worked side-by-side with Dr. Caplan to safely reopen our schools for teaching and learning during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I am grateful to the Board of Education for the opportunity to lead the Watervliet schools,” Mr. Stevens said. “I look forward to continuing to work with all students, teachers, staff members, our district’s families and the community to make sure that children have the support and resources necessary for learning and provide opportunities that will prepare them to lead successful, fulfilling and productive lives.”
Before he was elevated to the role of Assistant Superintendent in July 2019, Mr. Stevens served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction where he spearheaded the district’s efforts to develop standards-based curriculum aligned with the Next Generation Learning Standards. Prior to that, he was the district’s Director of Universal Prekindergarten and Literacy. Mr. Stevens taught sixth grade for 10 years at Watervliet Elementary School before joining the district’s administrative team.
“Throughout his career with the Watervliet schools in every role he has served, Mr. Stevens has made an indelible and positive impact on his students, his colleagues and the educational environment,” said Dr. Caplan, who announced her intent to retire last spring. “I am more than confident in his abilities to lead with compassion, authenticity and energy. I know that I am leaving the district in the capable hands of a leader who has shown a strong and steadfast commitment to our students, families, teachers and staff.”
Mr. Stevens earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education with an extension in middle school education, then pursued a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from The College of Saint Rose in Albany. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in education at Russell Sage College and is slated to complete the program this coming November.