Two Amsterdam school administrators leaving for Schenectady CSD


AMSTERDAM — The Greater Amsterdam School District is losing a pair of administrators to the neighboring Schenectady City School District; Amsterdam High School Principal Tyrone O’Meally and McNulty Elementary School Assistant Principal Jessica Valente.

“I will truly miss Amsterdam schools,” O’Meally said in a prepared statement. “I was embraced by the students, teachers, staff and parents. During my tenure, we accomplished great things and I look forward to hearing more about the continued success of the high school. I will always be grateful for the opportunity that I was given.”

After three years as high school principal, O’Meally is leaving the district to become the executive director of secondary education for Schenectady. He will work with principals to develop instructional leadership capacity and a culture of support to improve practices, strategies and results at the secondary level while building a seamless transition from the elementary level.

GASD Superintendent Richard Ruberti commended O’Meally’s performance while leading the high school in a prepared statement.

“Tyrone and the leadership he’s shown, especially during the challenges of a pandemic, will be sorely missed by everyone in this school district,” Ruberti said. “He helped change the culture of the building, improve opportunities for our students and made people better. We wish him well in his new opportunity in Schenectady.”

The SCSD Board of Education approved the appointment of O’Meally in December to the new position that he steps into beginning today with a prorated annual salary of $135,000. O’Meally was earning $122,474 as the Amsterdam High School principal, according to state government payroll data from SeeThroughNY.

The GASD Board of Education during a special meeting on Wednesday accepted O’Meally’s resignation effective this past Friday and appointed Bryan Wood interim high school principal.

Wood is currently a coach and mentor for the Capital Area School Development Association. The non-profit educational technical assistance center chartered by the state Board of Regents helps school districts improve operations, achieve efficiency and facilitate effective professional learning.

Before joining CASDA in 2020, Wood’s 35-year educational career has included administrative and teaching positions in urban and rural communities. In past roles, he has worked to support at-risk students and create alternative learning programs involving student suspensions and restorative justice opportunities.

Wood will receive a $475 per diem rate during his appointment in Amsterdam through June 30 while the district undertakes a search process to find a permanent high school principal. The search is expected to begin in March with building-level input.

The Amsterdam school board additionally approved a $5,000 stipend for Amsterdam High School Assistant Principal Anne Marie Giles for taking on additional duties related to training the incoming interim principal.

The Board of Education also approved the resignation of Valente effective Feb. 4. She will leave her assistant principal position at McNulty to become the assistant director of early literacy and pre-kindergarten programming for the office of teaching and learning at SCSD.

The Schenectady Board of Education earlier this month approved Valente’s four-year probationary appointment beginning on Feb. 7 with a $94,860 annual salary. She was earning $81,061 in Amsterdam following her appointment to the assistant principal post in July.

The Amsterdam Board of Education had a resolution on the agenda for its special meeting to consider appointing an elementary assistant principal. The resolution did not include the name of any individuals up for consideration and was ultimately withdrawn.

Valente was one of six new building principals and assistant principals named in GASD ahead of the 2021-22 school year following the retirements or departures of principals at McNulty, Barkley Elementary School, Marie Curie Elementary School and Lynch Middle School.

O’Meally’s departure from Amsterdam High School leaves Tecler Elementary School as the only district building to date that will not have received a new principal in the last year. Current Tecler Principal John Miller has been in the position since 2017.

Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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