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Bethlehem district beefs up administration

The hiring of two full-time high school deans and two full-time middle school house leaders was announced at the Wednesday, June 6, meeting of the Bethlehem School Board.

Michael Pipa and Marna Meltzer will serve as high school deans, and David Zadoorian and Andrew Baker will join the administrative staff at the middle school.

I am pleased and impressed with the quality of administrative leaders we have hired in these new positions, said superintendent Les Loomis.

The four were selected after the school board decided to move away from part-time deans and house leaders and create four new administrative positions in the district. The former part-time deans will go back to their full-time teaching positions. Three of the new full-time administrators will be paid a salary of $65,000. The fourth, Michael Pipa, was hired at a $70,000 salary because of prior teaching experience, said Loomis.

The main reason for the new administrative positions was to add program leadership.

"The new positions will enable us to more effectively support teachers as they work with the students and create a closer connection among students, school, staff and parents," Loomis said.

Pipa, the new dean at the high school, spent 18 years in the Guilderland Central School District, serving as an English teacher at Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School. Meltzer was the 10th-grade dean at the high school and Spanish teacher before being appointed high school house leader.

"These house leaders will be involved in supervision as kids get off the bus, in the homeroom and in the classroom," said high school principal Chuck Abba.

Observing teachers, taking parent phone calls and assisting in program initiatives are among Meltzer and Pipa's duties.

"We think they have a good understanding of curriculum instruction and have a good track record of working well with students, said Abba.

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