Haldane Loses Another Principal

Elementary school leader resigns

By Lily Gordon

The Haldane Central School District lost its second principal in 10 weeks when Brent Harrington announced his resignation from the elementary school.

The high school principal, Peter Carucci, left March 31 after nine months on the job for what he and the district said were personal reasons. He will be succeeded by Julia Sniffen, the middle school principal.

Brent Harrington

Harrington has been with the district since 2011, when he was hired from the Hastings Central School District to be principal of both the elementary and middle schools. Sniffen was hired in 2015.

Harrington, who earned $148,000 annually, will leave Haldane on June 30 to become principal of the Pocantico Hills Central elementary and middle school in Sleepy Hollow, about four miles from his home. He is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Arkansas which requires travel and so was “looking for some simplicity,” by reducing his commute, said Haldane Superintendent Diana Bowers.

“I will deeply miss the children and families of Cold Spring that I have come to know so well,” Harrington wrote in a letter to parents. “You have brought me great joy and faith in the good work that can happen for children in public schools when there is a collective partnership between families and the school.”

The board is also searching for a middle school principal to succeed Sniffen, who takes over at the high school on July 1. She is currently the interim principal there, with assistance from Bowers and Chris Salumn, the dean of students.

Bowers said community members interested in being a part of the process to find the two new principals should contact Linda Dearborn at 845-265-9254, ext. 115, or ldearborn@haldaneschool.org.

The Haldane PTA will thank Harrington and its volunteers at its meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, June 19, in the music room at Haldane.

In other business …

  • The board again heard details about a proposed Athletic Hall of Fame at the high school, which has met resistance from some parents and students. Organizers clarified that the hall of fame would be separate from the 1,000-point basketball club, track banners and scholar-athlete banners now hanging in the gym.
  • Haldane High School was one of 88 public schools outside of New York City recognized by the state for its academic achievement or progress. Among the criteria for the award is that the school must be among the top 20 percent for English language arts (ELA) and math performance during the past two years or among the top 10 percent in 2015-16; have made progress in the past two years on select measures; and have sufficient achievement among members of “accountability” groups such as low-income students.
  • Haldane’s hockey team will merge in 2017-18 with five nearby schools. In the past, Haldane players have played with those from Hendrick Hudson High School. The family of each Haldane hockey player will pay $1,000 toward costs.
  • The Philipstown Garden Club donated a tree to the district, which sparked a conversation about what types of donations the district can accept. Trustee Peggy Clements suggested that the district not accept donations valued at more than $100.
  • The board discussed a proposal to allow a student selected by the student council to join the board as a non-voting member.
  • The mathematics department at Haldane High School is considering shifting its Algebra II curriculum to focus more on preparation for the SAT by adding trigonometry. There will be more discussion at a public meeting with Lou Sassano, chair of the math department, at 6:30 p.m. on June 20.
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