Board of Education Appoints Kathleen Skeals as Superintendent of Schools

Internal selection comes after consulting with BOCES leadership

Kathy Skeals, left, listens to BOE members at 8-22-2022 meeting

At its Aug. 22 meeting, the North Colonie Board of Education unanimously appointed Kathleen Skeals as the District’s next Superintendent of Schools. Skeals was appointed to a three-year contract and will officially take over as Superintendent on Feb. 1, 2023. She will replace current Superintendent D. Joseph Corr, who will be retiring from the position as of Jan 31, 2023.

“I am humbled and honored to be named as only the sixth superintendent of North Colonie in its history,” Ms. Skeals said. “As a veteran employee of this district I take seriously the fact that the students in the class of 1958 established the motto ‘Terras Irradiemus,’ which translates to, ‘Let us illuminate the earth.’ I see the motto as symbolic of the beacon of hope that education provides. As I step into this role, I carry that vision with me and look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that has defined this district for over 60 years.”

“Ms. Skeals has been a transformational leader in the North Colonie Central School District. I look toward the future of our district with great promise,” said North Colonie Central School District Board of Education President Linda Harrison. “Ms. Skeals’s forward thinking and positive, can-do approach has characterized her response to any challenge we have faced as a District. She always has a plan, a strategic vision and an optimistic view of what is possible.”

North Colonie sought the advice of the Capital Region BOCES about moving forward after Mr. Corr announced his intention to retire and worked in collaboration with BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy.

“This is a challenging job market and the superintendency is no exception. North Colonie is so fortunate to already have a dignified and qualified candidate among its leaders,” said Murphy. “Appointing Ms. Skeals to this position makes sense for the community, faculty and staff and students who will benefit from her expertise and leadership. I am looking forward to working with Ms. Skeals as she continues her legacy in the district.”

“There is so much that I love about this district, a place that has been like a second home to me since the late 80s. It is, in fact, that feeling of home and community which I love best,” Ms. Skeals said. “I love everything from the opening days when kindergarten students take their first bus ride to the Blue Bison spirit on display on Friday nights under the lights as our football team takes the field. I love the way that we all work together to ensure that we can provide all of our students with the greatest range of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom so that they can find their passions which they can carry forward with them long beyond graduation day.”

Kathleen Skeals Biographical Snapshot

Ms. Skeals has been working in North Colonie since the start of her career, first as an English teacher and later as an English Department Supervisor. Since 2010 she has been part of the central office team as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and since 2015 she has served as the Deputy Superintendent.

 Ms. Skeals began her teaching career with the North Colonie School District in 1988 as an English teacher in the Junior High School and later at Shaker High School. She has been committed during her 32 years in the District to  mentoring new teachers and promoting opportunities for staff professional development. She served for many years on the District’s Staff Development Committee and the English Language Arts Steering Committee.

 In all of her teaching and administrative positions Ms. Skeals has furthered the pursuit of writing for both teachers and students in North Colonie. She has facilitated the development of the Shaker High School Writing Center, inspired a student celebration of National Writing Day and has always sought opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers and visiting authors.

 Her contributions to North Colonie students also include guiding the implementation of new learning standards and leading the work to expand the district’s kindergarten programming to a full-day program. She has also been a key contributor to the budget development process and supporter of curriculum initiatives that encourage student innovation and exploration.

Ms. Skeals was the recipient of the Peter McManus Award for excellence in teaching, was chosen the New York State Outstanding English Educator and a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction while teaching at Shaker High School, received the YWCA Resourceful Woman Honoree while she served as Deputy Superintendent, and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. She has also served as a test development and assessment consultant for the New York State Education Department.