Mohonasen names new principal

Like all good high school students, David Collins avoided the principal's office when he was a student at Mohonasen in the mid-1990s.

Now, Collins, 31, will become intimately acquainted with the office as the new principal of Mohonasen High School.

Collins has been an assistant principal at the high school for three years. Before that, he taught high school science at Mohonasen for five years.

Collins said he couldn't feel any better about taking the job. From his years as a student to those as an educator and administrator, Collins said he's spent nearly all of his life in the Mohonasen School District.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to come back and teach at a place where I was delivered an excellent education," said Collins, who graduated from Mohonasen in 1995. "Taking on a new leadership role, I hope to take Mohonasen to the next level."

Collins said he will continue initiatives to improve the school both academically and culturally.

Collins will earn an annual salary of $93,000 as principal. Collins said the district is currently interviewing for the assistant principal job left vacant by his promotion. He said the position will be filled before school begins in the fall.

Former principal Patrick McGrath, 40, will continue his employment in the district as the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He replaces Michael Johnson, who filled the position on an interim basis last year.

McGrath said he hopes his new position will allow him to continue interacting with students. He said he'll work to improve state test scores and to aid students transitioning from middle school to high school.

McGrath had been principal of the high school for the past two years. Before that, he taught in the Niskayuna School District for nearly a decade. He said he's excited to step up to the district position but that he'll miss his days in the high school.

"I have mixed emotions," said McGrath. "I loved being in the buildings, and I accomplished a lot but I'm very interested in some of the initiatives that will allow me to spend some time in the middle school, high school and elementary schools."

McGrath will earn a salary of $116,000 per year in the new position.""

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