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Dear Lakeland Families,
I hope you all have been enjoying summer and finding time to recharge and connect with friends and family. Summer is a busy time throughout the district as we prepare for the upcoming school year and I’m looking forward to welcoming students back to school in just a few weeks. We will also be welcoming some new faces and offering opportunities to the administrative team while we wish some farewell, as they take next steps.
After almost two decades as principal of Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, Ms. Jacqueline Woodruff will be retiring. We wish her all the best and thank her for her many years of dedicated service to the students of Van Cort. I am pleased to share that Dr. Shannon O'Grady, who has served as the Assistant Principal at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School for the last year, will be the Interim Principal of Van Cortlandtville for the 2022-2023 school year.
Mr. Alfonse Davino will rejoin the team at Lakeland High School as Assistant Principal. We thank him for his continued service to the District. I am pleased to share that Mr. Christopher Urso will assume the role of Interim Principal of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School for the upcoming school year. Mr. Urso has served as Assistant Principal of Thomas Jefferson since 2018, previously serving as an Elementary Teacher and Instructional Coach at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School since 2002.
Mr. Joseph Sayegh and Mr. Michael Bollati are joining the administration team as the new sixth and seventh grade Assistant Principals at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School. We also thank Mr. Scott Staub for his service as the Interim Sixth-Grade Assistant Principal.
We have two new positions to the District Office, Mr. Christian Mercurio in the role of Safety and Security Administrator and Dr. Carol Verrino as the District’s Instructional STEAM Coach. These positions are key in fulfilling the evolving needs of our school community. Mr. Mercurio will work on safety across the District and Dr. Verrino will work with educators across the district to incorporate STEAM initiatives with the goal of supporting students to develop the 21st century skills they need to be successful in the future.
We are beginning a search for new Assistant Principals for Lincoln-Titus and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools. We are also in the process of hiring an Assistant Principal for Walter Panas High School. For each position, we will work diligently to secure the best possible candidates to support our students and staff.
Each new school year brings with it a feeling of renewal. It’s certainly a magical time of year, with a kind of energy that cannot be matched. Our faculty, administrators, and staff are so excited to welcome our students back to school and looking forward to a wonderful year ahead.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!
Dr. Karen Gagliardi
Superintendent of Schools