Voorheesville welcomes new principal
The new principal at Clayton A. Bouton High School, Patrick Corrigan, works in his new office, not far from his old one, while getting ready for the first day of school. The board of education appointed Corrigan in July, who has worked at Voorheesville for 14 years, as a social studies teacher and associate principal.
NEW SCOTLAND — Patrick Corrigan is now principal of a school where he has worked for 14 years and plans to stay until he retires.
He’ll have added duties, at Clayton A. Bouton High School as the district cuts one administration post.
Corrigan began as a social studies teacher at Voorheesville and for the last seven years he’s been associate principal — that job was cut.
He said becoming a high school principal was a career aspiration and he is thrilled with the opportunity.
“My intention is to really be here until I retire,” said Corrigan of his attachment to Voorheesville. “My only goal is to do the job as well as I can.”
As part of the school, Corrigan said, he’s become entwined in the lives of countless local families. He said he was fond of the closeness in the local community, where many former students and their parents still greet him.
“Really,” he said, “you go to events in the town, I see the graduates and students. As a teacher they and their families often recognize you. As far as why I see myself here for a long time — I’ve been here for a long time already.”
After three years as Voorheesville’s principal Imran Abbasi resigned in July to take a new post as principal of Schalmont High School.
The board of education appointed Corrigan as and took advantage of the vacancy to rearrange staffing.
The associate principal’s post’s responsibilities will be divided among other administrators.
“We had an opportunity to rethink administratively,” said Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder. “Cutting administrators is difficult. People don’t understand how hard it can be to keep up with — mostly because of all the work related to unfunded mandates.”
District leaders examined the administrative structure and redistributed the associate principal’s responsibility to other administrators. As new principal, Corrigan may still perform some of his old duties in addition to a slew of new ones.
The associate principal’s tasks at the high school had included: being a back-up principal when needed; handling student discipline and management; organizing teacher observations; securing private and academic information, coordinating after-school events; and keeping the school’s electronic systems are accessible to students, parents, and teachers — such as the tracking and posting of grades.
“It’s a new model and we’ll be evaluating it all year,” said Thayer Snyder of cutting the position but not the workload. “It was only through attrition that we could do it and we were able to redistribute some of the weight.”
Snyder said the fiscal challenges facing public schools, including Voorheesville, meant the district was always mindful of finding a more efficient, less expensive, way to offer a quality education.
“This will not impact any programs,” she said. “We’re all doing a little bit more with less.”
“We don’t want people getting the incorrect impression. This was all thought out carefully,” said Corrigan. “There will be no impact on students from the administrative changes and it’ll have a minimal impact on teachers.”