The Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Tuesday, July 5. During this first meeting of the 2022-23 school year, the Board elected Sheri Senecal as president and Mary Beth Whited as vice president. New Board of Education member Brian White was sworn in to serve his first three-year term.
New assistant superintendent named
The Board acted on several key appointments during the July 5 meeting, which included approving the recommendation of Kelly Webster to the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. In this role, Mrs. Webster will oversee curriculum, instruction, intervention and professional development, as well as additional leadership responsibilities at the district level.
Mrs. Webster has proven leadership experience, serving as principal at Watervliet Elementary School (WES) for the past three and half years, and as assistant principal at Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School (WJSHS) for two and a half years before that. She began her career as an educator at WES, where she taught fourth grade. Superintendent Donald Stevens acknowledged her commitment to the district’s students, teachers, staff and families.
“Mrs. Webster’s experience gives her a unique perspective of the areas of strengths throughout our school district, and she is respected and trusted as a leader in both buildings,” he said.
Administrators on the move
Additional administrative shifts are underway ahead of the start of school in September.
WJSHS principal Ryan Groat will fill the role of principal at Watervliet Elementary School. Dr. Stevens is confident that Mr. Groat’s transition from one building to the other will be seamless and will benefit students and staff. “With his many years of leadership at the secondary level, Mr. Groat understands what students need to graduate,” Dr. Stevens said. “He will be a tremendous asset and support for elementary school teachers and staff as they build the educational foundation young learners need to be successful throughout their K-12 experience.”
The search for a new high school principal is underway, with candidate interviews beginning next week.
Michael Foust will return to the assistant principal role he previously held at WJSHS after serving in that same capacity at WES for the past three years. “After providing additional support at the junior-senior high school during the final weeks of the school year, Mr. Foust made the decision to return to his roots,” Dr. Stevens said. Prior to becoming assistant principal, he taught 7th grade English at WJSHS for several years.
Finally, the Board of Education appointed Catherine Casey to the position of elementary school assistant principal. Mrs. Casey comes to Watervliet from Bethlehem Central School District with several years of teaching experience, and she recently completed her leadership certification at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
“I welcome Mrs. Casey to our district and look forward to the energy and enthusiasm she will bring to our leadership team,” Dr. Stevens said. “I am confident that Mr. Groat and Mrs. Casey will make a dynamic administrative team who will work together to support a positive teaching and learning environment for our elementary school community.”
Throughout the summer, the district’s leadership team will continue working together to prepare for September when we will welcome back students and staff. Our commitment to inspire, educate and challenge every student, every day has never been stronger!