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The Times
  • Dolgeville Middle School has a new principal

  • Dream big. Make the right choices. Succeed through hard work.

    These are the words posted on the bulletin board behind Crystal Chrisman's desk.

    “It's a simple vision of encouraging kids to set goals for themselves,” said Chrisman, who was recently appointed as Dolgeville Central School's middle school principal.

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  • Dream big. Make the right choices. Succeed through hard work.
    These are the words posted on the bulletin board behind Crystal Chrisman's desk.
    “It's a simple vision of encouraging kids to set goals for themselves,” said Chrisman, who was recently appointed as Dolgeville Central School's middle school principal.
    During an interview at her office on Wednesday, Chrisman spoke about why she wanted to take on the role as head of the middle school, which includes grades 5 to 8.
    “I've always loved working in schools and working with kids,” she said. “Teaching is a passion.”
    Chrisman, of Fairfield, is a 1995 graduate of West Canada Valley High School and attained her bachelor's degree in political science and history from Marist College. She went on to earn her master's degree in leadership and instruction for inclusive classrooms from Utica College and her certificate in advanced study from the State University of New York in Cortland.
    While this will be Chrisman's first administrative role, her career in education goes back to 1999 when she was first hired by the school district as a ninth-grade global history teacher.
    During her tenure at Dolgeville, she's also taught tenth grade social studies, Western Civilization and sociology. She has also taught College Now courses for students, which earn them credit at Herkimer County Community College.
    Chrisman said it was about two years ago when she first started pursuing an administrative role in the school district. She had the opportunity to intern with the superintendent and principals when working on her administrative certificate; an experience she described as “invaluable.”
    The middle school principal position opened up after Melissa Hoskey resigned in June to take over the same role at the newly formed Central Valley Central School District's Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School.
    Chrisman said she is excited to work with middle school students.
    “It's such a critical age for them,” she said. “They're starting to understand who they are and what they want to become.”
    Chrisman said she started meeting with her staff last week to discuss the upcoming school year, which starts on Sept. 5. Among the things her staff is talking about is how to incorporate the state's core curriculum standards.
    “It's a challenge,” she said. “But [the state] included many instructional techniques that are being used in the classroom for skills and needs beyond school; for college and career readiness.”
    In a recent school newsletter, Chrisman talked about her transition from working in the classroom to becoming an administrator.
    “What do I want to be when I grow up? Personally, I focus more on how I want to be, more than what I want to be,” she said in the article. “I want to be happy and love what I do. I have shared the importance of hard work and perseverance with my students for the last 14 years. I look forward to continuing my path of 'growing up' at Dolgeville Central School, sharing my love of learning and guiding students to accomplish their dreams.”

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