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Board appoints acting GHS principal

The Guilderland Board of Education accepted High School Principal Michael Paolino's resignation at a Tuesday, Sept. 16, meeting.

The board also appointed Brian McCann as acting principal. He has served as assistant principal for 17 years, according to a district statement. He will serve as acting principal until the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

I feel pretty good. It was a challenging set of circumstances to step into, McCann said. "We're off to a good start. It's good to see Guilderland moving forward again."

He added that students and staff seem to be responding positively and are energetic about the new school year.

"Guilderland is very fortunate to have such an experienced and energetic leader at the helm of our high school," said Superintendent John McGuire. "We are confident that Mr. McCann and his team will provide strong and effective leadership throughout this transition period."

Aaron Sicotte, an English teacher at the school since 2003, will serve as assistant principal, according to school officials.

McCann said the school is focused on several initiatives, and one is an assessment of the school's "block" scheduling system, and another emphasizes diversity and sensitivity.

He said the block system has been in place for 10 years and a comprehensive study of the system and alternatives is going to take place. Reports to the cabinet heads are scheduled for April or May of 2009, and recommendations to the Board of Education are planned for October 2009.

Anther important initiative McCann discussed is a renewed focus on diversity and sensitivity. It is going to be an ongoing process, and McCann said it is in its infancy right now, but the focus of the program will be on the students.

The teachers are going to be brought into the program also, but McCann said the students are the priority.

He added that the school also has plans to do study groups on staff development and curriculum mapping.

Paolino had been on paid leave since July 28 and will remain on leave until his official resignation on Dec. 31, according to information provided by the school district.

The district has not commented on why Paolino was placed on leave.

Paolino has been principal since October, and formerly taught at Voorheesville High School.

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