KEENE - School started Wednesday, Sept. 3 at the Keene Central School District, and by now the students may have already noticed they have two administrative leaders at the schools watching over them.
The two new members of the administrative staff were hired this summer. Dan Mayberry, formerly the school's principal, was appointed the new superintendent in July. Mayberry will also be the district's high school principal. He replaces former Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston.
Shannon Pitcher-Boyea was hired at the end of August to be the district's kindergarten through eighth-grade principal.
Keene Central School
(News photo — Matthew Turner)
"It's great," Pitcher-Boyea said Wednesday during the first day of school. "This is my first year here so it's like a dream. I've never encountered anything quite like it; I knew it was a special place, but now it's real and it's so surreal."
Pitcher-Boyea was previously an assistant principal at Franklin Academy in Malone. She is also the district's Committee on Special Education chairperson.
Mayberry said their goal is to maintain the level of excellence the district has established. Pitcher-Boyea said the district's vision is for the faculty and staff to do "what ever it takes," academically for the students and staff to succeed.
The school was recently ranked as one of the top schools in country, 125th, based on a survey done by the online website The Daily Beast.
The state Department of Education also named the Keene Elementary School a reward school, which means it's in the top 20 percent academically.
Since both administrators are new to their roles at the district, they said building relationships was very important.
"Our goals are to maintain this positive culture and the uniqueness," she said. "Establishing and forming relationships with community, staff and students."
"We are really trying to build that collaborative effort," Mayberry said.
Mayberry said another new face in the school system is Kristie Mills. She was hired as the speech and language teacher.
The district intends to continue its international program, Mayberry said. Six international students will attend the school this year. The international program is in its third year.