Jessica Sanderson was appointed as the district's assistant middle school
principal at the Board of Education meeting on May 24, following a thorough search
and selection process.
Sanderson is currently an Earth Science teacher at Shaker High School and is a former 8th grade science teacher. She recently completed her administrative internship at Shaker, where she gained experience working with teachers and administrators at all levels and handling a variety of student issues.
The assistant principal position will be shared between Iroquois and Van Antwerp.
Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. said that Sanderson impressed three interview committees as an educator with a strong instructional background, a passion for middle school, and an ability to connect with teachers, students and families.
The interview committees included district leaders, middle school Principals Luke Rakoczy and Vicki Wyld, middle school teachers and staff, parents, students and Board members. The committees interviewed six candidates, who were drawn from a broader pool of applicants for the position.
The selection process included final interviews with Dr. Tangorra and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Lauren Gemmill.
The Board voted to restore the assistant principal position earlier this year to provide necessary capacity to support middle school teachers and staff and respond to the needs of students and families. The position is shared between Iroquois and Van Antwerp.
"Jessica comes to Niskayuna with a wide range of educational experiences and commitment to the teamwork that is required to provide students the very best middle school experience," Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. said. "She will be an asset to both schools, the middle school leadership team, and our district as a whole."
Sanderson is a Niskayuna parent. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from Union College, and recently completed the Educational Leadership Program at SUNY Stony Brook.
At Shaker, she has served on many building and district level committees, professional development for K-8 teachers to implement a new science curriculum, and furthered efforts to integrate technology in the classroom.
She has also taught at the graduate level, including a course that specifically prepares pre-service teachers to meet the unique needs of middle school students.
"I am thrilled about the opportunity to join the district and work with students at the middle school level," Sanderson said. "The transition students make from elementary school to becoming a young adult is so exciting and important, and I am looking forward to supporting them along the way. I also feel extremely fortunate to be coming to work with school leaders, teachers, staff members and parents who I have so much respect for in a district that I am proud to call home."
Sanderson will begin in Niskayuna on July 1.