A familiar face to the Shenendehowa Central School District will replace retiring Tesago Elementary School Principal Kathy Powers next month.
Greg Pace will start as the new Tesago principal on March 7. He is currently the principal at the Broadalbin-Perth Intermediate School.
Pace, 41, taught fourth grade at Skano Elementary in the district for six years before moving to Broadalbin-Perth as a principal in 2002.
“When I heard about the opening, it seemed like a pretty exciting possibility,” Pace said on Monday. “I was familiar with the district and a lot of the people associated with it.”
A total of 42 people applied for the $98,000-per-year position, and Pace was one of four to be interviewed for the job. He was appointed by the Board of Education on Wednesday.
School board President Bill Casey said that Pace showed an impressive dedication to literacy.
“I think he’ll be able to make a really smooth and quick transition,” Casey said. “It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking as you’re losing somebody that’s been there a while that everybody knows.”
Powers, 59, has been the Tesago principal for the last nine years and has been an administrator in the district since 1990. Her last day at Tesago is Feb. 29. She said that she hopes to be able to travel and relax in retirement.
“I’ll miss the human interaction with the children and the staff,” Powers said. “I meet the children every day at the door. What job can you have where you’ve got greetings from children with hellos and hugs and smiles?”
Powers hasn’t met Pace yet but said she would be happy to help him with the transition if the district asked her to.
Shenendehowa spokeswoman Kelly DeFeciani said that a district administrator will be on call for Tesago in the week between Powers’ retirement and Pace’s first day.
“He’s coming to a school that is exceptional,” Powers said. “You couldn’t ask for a better place to be a principal.”
Born in Central New York, Pace has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University at Albany as well as a master’s degree in education from the State University at Fredonia.
He lives in Wilton but said that he hopes to move to Clifton Park later this year.
“One of the things that made the decision easier for me is that I know that the building I’m going into is emphasizing professional learning communities,” Pace said. “The staff there seems to be in synergy with one another and they have some common goals and some good ideas.”
Developing professional learning communities to help teachers cooperate and develop curriculum together is listed as one of Shenendehowa’s 2007-08 goals.
Longtime Broadalbin-Perth fifth-grade teacher Theo Higgins said that she’s going to miss Pace.
“He has a really good understanding of the perspective from everybody who works for him,” she said. “He doesn’t just come at you as an administrator.”
Pace said that a top priority for him will be to get to know his students as quickly as possible. Tesago has 516 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“This will be a long-term thing, I think,” Pace added.