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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 30, 2009
New elementary principal, Reardon, says Voorheesville is home
By Saranac Hale Spencer
VOORHEESVILLE Ever since Thomas Reardon was a student in elementary school, he wanted to work in one.
“Whatever grade I was in, I always loved it,” he said this week. On April 24, the Voorheesville school district announced that Reardon was chosen to be the elementary school’s new principal. Edward Diegle, who held the post for nearly 20 years, has been acting principal since Kenneth Lein, who spent four years as principal, resigned last June.
When Reardon left the classroom to become an administrator in Bethlehem, he worried that he’d lose the “student centerpiece,” he said. Instead, he’s gone from a handful of students in one classroom to 500, he said.
“It’s a people-centered job,” Reardon said of being an administrator, which is what he likes about it. One of his references told Dr. Raymond Colucciello, Voorheesville’s interim superintendent, that Reardon called 200 parents before the school year started to welcome the families of incoming kindergarteners into the district.
In his seven years at Bethlehem, Reardon is most proud of the character education program he has implemented, which reinforces respect, tolerance, and citizenship in students. His first order of business in Voorheesville, Reardon said, is get to know the community. “The great things are already there,” he said.
After Reardon is married in June, to a Bethlehem teacher, he hopes to move to the Voorheesville area from East Greenbush. “I hope to be there as long as they’ll have me,” he said. “This is home.”
At the start of the search for a new principal, the district got 28 applications for the $75,200 post, Colucciello said. Reardon’s experience at the elementary and middle school levels and his understanding of literacy and curricula set him apart, said Colucciello. Reardon holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Siena College and a master’s degree in curriculum development and instructional technology from the University at Albany.
He did several projects at the conclusion of his master’s program, Reardon said, and he wrote a thesis on one of his favorite writers, William Kennedy, in which he studied a character from Kennedy’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, Ironweed, in conjunction with Freudian theory. Not only did he like Kennedy’s writing, but also the history of the Albany area.
Asked if he didn’t miss teaching history and prose, Reardon said that, as a principal, he’s able to instill values in more than just one classroom of students.
His dream has been to work in a small, close-knit community that values education, Reardon said. He called Voorheesville a “perfect combination” of those things.