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New ICC super ‘eager to leverage… leadership skills’

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By EMILIA TEASDALE

Marie Digirolamo. Photo contributed

KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education held their first meeting of the 2023-24 school year on July 11. It was also the first Board of Education meeting for newly appointed Superintendent Marie Digirolamo. Ms. Digirolamo started in the district about a week before the meeting after the retirement of former superintendent Suzanne Guntlow.

Ms. Digirolamo came to the district from the Niskayuna Central School District, where she served for nearly 10 years, first as the director of K-12 social studies/world languages/English as a new language, and then assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

She also served as an assistant high school principal and junior/senior high school principal at Taconic Hills CSD. She has a bachelor’s degree in French, a master’s degree in French Education, an advanced graduate certificate in school building leadership, and an advanced graduate certificate in school district leadership, all from the University at Albany.

“I am no stranger to Columbia County, especially the Ichabod Crane Central School District. My family lived here, and my siblings graduated from ICC’s High School, creating enduring connections and friendships that still thrive today,” Ms. Digirolamo wrote in an email to the school community on July 6.

In the email, she also said, “Before officially stepping into this position, I had the pleasure of visiting the campus, spending time in each school building. I witnessed vibrant and dynamic spaces, where children and staff were enthusiastic about learning and being together as a united Rider family. I also had the pleasure to observe notable accomplishments, like the 5th-Grade D.A.R.E. graduation. “Furthermore, Suzanne Guntlow, my predecessor, graciously shared a wealth of knowledge about this institution with me before her departure.

“Looking ahead, I am eager to leverage my leadership skills in teaching and learning, advocacy, and cultural proficiency to further strengthen the solid foundation we have here. As the world of education continues to evolve, we will adapt and grow together.”

At the board meeting, she said that she had so far had a “wonderful” week and two days in the district.

Only five of the nine board members were at the meeting, which started with the organizational meeting. Matthew Nelson was reelected as board president and Elizabeth Phillips was reelected to vice-president by the board members in attendance.

Board member Kelly Firmbach, who was reelected to a seat on the board in May’s annual election, was the only board member at the meeting to be sworn in. Newly elected board members Megan Pelizza and Christopher Scoville were not in attendance.

‘I am no stranger to Columbia County, especially the Ichabod Crane Central School District.’

Marie Digirolamo, superintendent
Ichabod Crane School School District

During the regular meeting, the board heard a brief report from Ms. Digirolamo about the plans for the upcoming year and the over 400 students attending the school’s summer programs. She also reported that “it looks like” the graduation rate for the last school year will be at 97%., which she said is “certainly a point of pride for the district.”

“We are off to a great start,” she said.

Also at the meeting district Business Manager Michael Brennan reported on some of the donations accepted by the board. He pointed out a donation from the ICC Booster to the Athletics Department of $2,000 to cover a portion of the travel costs for the teams that went to states during the last school year. Mr. Brennan said the district paid for all the transportation for those teams, and the district and the Booster Club paid for hotels. He said the Booster Club paid for some meals.

There was also a $750 gift from the state ASBO (Association of School Business Officials of New York) in Ichabod Crane Board Clerk Mindy Potts’ name in recognition of her work with ASBO.

The next regular board meeting will be August 8 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com

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