Experience with teaching, special education, technology, curriculum development and Common Core State Standards helped Christopher Clancy land the position as Poland’s new elementary principal.
Clancy said it’s important to him to work in a progressive school district such as Poland because schools are in the process of adapting to many changes — such as the Common Core State Standards and Annual Professional Performance Reviews for teachers and principals.
“For me, I wanted to be in a place that I knew had a strong school, a supportive community and supportive families — and would be excited to move forward,” he said.
The Poland Board of Education opened the search for a new elementary principal in March. The 70 applicants for the job went through a screening process by Poland Superintendent Laura Dutton, before the field was narrowed down to three finalists.
Each finalist met with three committees — one with teachers and teacher’s assistants, one with administrators and clerical staff and one with board of education members and the community. District officials listened to input from all three committees about the strengths of each candidate.
During a special meeting on June 21, the board of education appointed Clancy as the new elementary principal.
Clancy, whose official start date was July 9, is looking forward to meeting more students, teachers and parents when the school year begins.
“I’m excited to collaborate with parents and work with them as part of the school community,” he said.
Clancy had been working as the Lake George Central School District’s technology coordinator, and he also undertook an administrative internship there. Prior to that, he was the educational technologist at the Queensbury School District. Previously, he also was a special education teacher and then fifth-grade teacher at the William H. Barton Intermediate School in Queensbury.
In addition to holding multiple state certifications, Clancy earned a bachelor of science degree in inclusive elementary and special education from Syracuse University, a master of science degree in curriculum and instruction from Plattsburgh State University and a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from Plattsburgh State University.
Clancy’s job experience includes work on curriculum and instruction — analyzing what results in good teaching and effective learning. He plans to review the curriculum at Poland to make sure it is rigorous, relevant and purposeful, he said.
One positive aspect of the Common Core State Standards is that they shift the instructional focus for teachers away from getting through a certain amount of content in a specific timeline to instead helping students gain a deeper understanding of classroom topics, he said.
In the coming school year, Clancy also plans to review how Poland is implementing APPR, response to intervention, the Dignity for All Students Act and other educational initiatives.
Page 2 of 2 - Another part of Clancy’s assignment at Poland is to be the director of special education, so his experience in that area will benefit the district, Dutton said.
His background with technology also is a positive for the district, Dutton said.
“He brings a lot of technology strength,” Dutton said. “He has a lot of familiarity with the tools we use for student assessments and response to intervention.”
“I’ve been deeply imbedded in technology for the last five years at a similar-sized school district,” Clancy said. “That will help me support technological initiatives at Poland at a time when schools are transitioning into digital learning environments.”