This week, students, staff and parents will have opportunities to meet with the final two candidates for the position of principal of John Kennedy Intermediate School.
Lauren Combo, currently the director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Perry Central School District, will be at the school on Wednesday, Nov. 29, and Amanda Cook, currently the assistant principal at the Byron-Bergen Elementary School, will be there on Thursday, Nov. 30.
Each will begin their respective afternoons with the current principal, Paul Kesler, for a tour of the building, then visit a second-grade class to share a story with students. Afterward, each will meet with the interview team, then staff members. The afternoon will conclude with a meet-and-greet at 2:45 for all interested parents and teachers.
A team of teachers, clerical and custodial workers, parents and administrators narrowed the field of initial applicants down to seven interviews and then four candidates. Those four were interviewed by the District Leadership Committee, including Board members Patrick Burk and Barbara Bowman. Out of those interviews came the two finalists.
Combo began her career in Le Roy as an AIS (Academic Intervention Services) math teacher for grades two and three, then as a kindergarten teacher. During that time, she took on the position of Elementary Math Curriculum coordinator, and worked as principal for two summer programs – including Batavia’s TEAM Literacy program.
After working as an administrative intern in the Perry District, she was hired by them as the director of Curriculum and Instruction. In that most recent position, she planned, implemented and evaluated instructional programs with teachers and building administrators; facilitated monthly data meetings; oversaw intervention and enrichment activities and programs; provided professional development; assisted in conducting K-12 observations; collaborated on the creation of a K-12 instructional technology plan; and was the test coordinator for all assessments and exams.
Cook began her education career as a Special Education teacher in Pavilion Central Schools. Five years ago she was hired as Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s assistant principal where she honed skills in instructional leadership and school operations management.
In instructional leadership, she developed and earned statewide recognition for a character education program using input from district-wide stakeholders; incorporated proactive and positive behavior practices within the school-wide student management program; led the design and implementation of local curriculum and bully prevention programs; coordinated service learning programs within the community; created student leadership opportunities to enhance school culture; implemented assembly programs to support classroom character education instruction; and partnered with teachers to complete professional observations as part of the APPR process.
In school operations, she coordinated scheduling and accommodations for NYS assessments, including the field testing of computer-based testing; managed student behavior through communication with teachers and families; developed time-efficient master schedules to maximize instructional and Response to Intervention times; facilitated building safety committee to ensure thorough and efficient practices; and implemented programs to streamline professional learning and evaluation processes.
Each candidate will begin her session with a brief biography and then respond to questions from attendees.
At the next Board of Education meeting on Dec. 5, Superintendent Christopher Dailey will recommend the appointment of one of these candidates to the Board of Education, with the intention of having the new JK principal begin work by Jan. 1.