A Message from Supt. Kathleen Skeals
Dear North Colonie Families,
As you know, last Tuesday Mr. Corr retired from his life‘s work as an educator. He spent the last 12 years of his career as the superintendent of this district, but that was only one small part of his 50 years in education. Mr. Corr truly believed in the power of education to transform lives. Every interaction, whether with a student, a teacher, or one of you, was an opportunity to listen, learn, and act in a way that could possibly make someone’s life better.
Admittedly, these last few years have been particularly challenging. All of us have been under great stress as we had to adapt in real time to the changes which were being thrust upon us by a worldwide pandemic. In real time, we had to figure out how to take care of ourselves and each other, so that we could do our best to take care of a community of learners who depended on us. It wasn’t always easy and the path wasn’t always clear, but I can think of no better educational leader to have supported all of us during these last turbulent years than Mr. Corr. His steadfast commitment to do everything possible to support each and every one of us was rooted in his compassion, his goodness, and his love for those he served.
Like Mr. Corr, education has been my life’s work. This marks my 35th year in education, all but two in North Colonie. I began my career as an English teacher at Shaker Junior High School in 1988, and I spent 19 years as a classroom teacher before I moved into administration. I have had the great fortune of working directly alongside Mr. Corr these past 12 years, first as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and more recently as Deputy Superintendent. I am deeply humbled and honored to have been selected to carry our work forward. We are emerging from unprecedented times, and we know that our world is rapidly changing, that technology continues to emerge, and the external context in which we educate our students continues to shift. And, although there are still challenges, there are also real opportunities for us to work together to build on the many strengths of our community, create new opportunities out of these challenges, and cultivate environments where children and adults in our community can thrive.
I am eager and excited to be the sixth superintendent of North Colonie. As a long-standing member of this educational community, I have a deep understanding of the history of our district and expectations of our community. Since its inception, the people of this district have proven that they have the hearts and the minds to work together in the service of children. When it was founded in 1958, the students of Shaker High School selected the motto Terras Irradiemus, “let us illuminate the Earth,” clearly setting forth an ambitious desire to use their knowledge to make a positive impact in the world.
With a deep respect for the past and a clear understanding of this community’s tradition of excellence, I look forward to working with all of you to imagine a bold and progressive future for North Colonie, one in which every every child has the opportunity to grow, thrive, and recognize their potential. With a strong partnership between the district, parents, and the community, we will not only maintain high academic standards and a culture of care and support, but also create new opportunities which will help all children recognize their unique gifts, discover their passions, and find ways to make positive impacts in the world.
I have often said that even though I am currently an administrator, I will always have the heart of a teacher. I realize, however, that it goes deeper than that. I think I will always have the heart of a student. I will always have the quest to read more, learn more, listen more, and, hopefully, grow as a person, educator, and community servant. I look forward to getting to know each of you and working with you to make the district a great place of hope and potential for our students. At this critical point in time, I believe that we are a community of possibilities, and I am confident that working together, we can articulate a bold, forward-looking vision to ensure that North Colonie continues to be a leader in education.
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