Dear Lakeland Families,

I am delighted to share two administrative appointments that were approved at the Board of Education meeting last night.

Beginning Monday, October 25, Dr. Tracy Norman will serve as Acting Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. Many of you know Dr. Norman from 21 years in the district and longstanding his principalship at George Washington Elementary School. He is a passionate advocate for all students and an accomplished leader in our district. I am confident that Dr. Norman will make great strides in his new role.

Mr. Marc Casey will be a wonderful addition to the George Washington family, serving as the Acting Principal. Mr. Casey has been an Assistant Principal at Copper Beech Middle School since 2015. Mr. Casey is a student-focused administrator and an excellent leader. I am equally confident in his leadership as he takes on his new role. 

Both Dr. Norman and Mr. Casey will hold their acting titles until the end of the school year. 

The final step of this transition is to determine a replacement for Mr. Casey’s role at Copper Beech as the 6th Grade Assistant Principal. Please be assured that Principal Ruolo and I are working diligently to fill this position and will be sure to provide an update as soon as possible.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Norman and Mr. Casey on their new appointments. We are so grateful for your continued service to the students of Lakeland.

Secondly, I wanted to share with you an overview of the updates I shared at the Board meeting last night. During this time of transition, my goals are to further build relationships, re-establish trust, listen thoughtfully and carefully to all stakeholders and develop next steps to steady our District yet propel us forward. Engaging our stakeholders in discussions will reveal areas of opportunity for growth. As Interim Superintendent, my key areas of focus are: Teaching and Learning, Finance and Operations, and Governance, Community and Public Relations.
 
Teaching and Learning:
  • November 2, 2021 is Superintendent Conference Day, faculty and staff will focus on Rubicon Atlas, the online platform that will house curriculum. We have been immersed in this work and are poised for a presentation in late November. 
  • A review of the District’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, beginning with acknowledgements coupled with clarity sought. We will seek expansion and inclusion from a variety of voices and stakeholders, and together, identify opportunities for growth and next steps. A comprehensive structural approach to the team's work will support the needs and goals of the District; these steps will be taken in the coming weeks with follow up over time. 
  • Across all channels, I will encourage us to look towards the mission, vision and core beliefs of the District and the goals of the Board of Education in our work ahead. Lakeland Central School District’s collective responsibility is to support students, and prepare them to reach their own individual potential.

Finance and Operations: 
  • Keep a watchful eye on the Walter Panas High School field project and see it to completion. There will follow up to the early planning stages of our Energy Performance Contract with ECG. 
  • Work alongside our business officials to fully analyze and prepare for the upcoming budget season which culminates in May 2022. 

Governance, Community and Public Relations: 
  • Commence with a smooth transition of leadership for the Acting Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. Tracy Norman and Acting Principal to George Washington, Marc Casey. I know they and I will listen broadly to the community, ensure multiple perspectives and voices are heard and nurture the working relationships with administrators, teachers, students and the community at large.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not include additional acknowledgement of our students who have earned recognition as Con Edison’s Athlete of the Week (Mia Smith) and BOCES scholar Student of Distinction (Francisco Duran). I truly applaud their talent and achievements. Also I’d like to recognize our Board of Education members as it is School Board Recognition Week when we honor the local school board members for their commitment to our community and its children.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Karen Gagliardi, Ed. D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools