Colleen Kane loved living in Orange County about 12 miles west of Woodbury Commons where she was principal of a middle school in Goshen since 2008; but, she was ready to come home. So, when an opportunity presented itself in the form of a vacant middle school principal position in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District, she jumped at the chance.
Burnt Hills came up and I know it's a fantastic school district, so I was thrilled for the opportunity to even apply for the job, said Kane, who grew up in Columbia County. "Burnt Hills has a nice reputation; they're really progressive in some of the work they're doing and I'm happy to be part of that."
Kane said there's something special about middle school age, which is why working with kids in their formative years is exhilarating.
"I think that for students, this is a great time to mold them, teach them and have a really nice opportunity to get to know them as students. It's an interesting age; they're very creative, inquisitive and it's exciting to watch them grow up," said Kane. "You see more of a change from sixth to eighth than you do anywhere else. They're a lot fun."
Getting to know students on a personal level, beyond just waving hi in the halls, is critical to Kane's administrative approach; so, she'll spend the first couple months really getting to know the students and their families, when she officially takes over on Dec.13.
"If we're really going to take a whole child approach to education, the whole child is the family too, so that's a huge part of it," said Kane. "I think this is an age where kids tend to push parents away and I like to spend time with parents, help them navigate that and the ways you can maintain relationships with your kids. I just don't think you can get success if the parent's aren't on board. It's a really important piece for me."