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Meet the new LP principals

September 5, 2013

LAKE PLACID - On what will probably be one of the last warm, sunny evenings of the summer Wednesday, no one came out to the elementary school community room to meet Lake Placid's three new principals.

On Monday, about 10 families came to a similar meet-and-greet forum in Wilmington, and they discussed with the new principals a variety of topics including the elementary school playground, transportation issues and changes in nutrition guidelines for cafeteria food.

"We know that kids and parents at the most basic level want to know who the people are that are leading the school," district Superintendent Roger Catania told the Enterprise.

Article Photos

Photo/Jessica Collier
New Lake Placid Central School District Principals, from left, Dana Wood, Brian Latella and Theresa Lindsay gather at the elementary school Wednesday, Aug. 28 for a meet and greet.

Some students showed up to Monday's meet-and-greet as well, and when asked what they were excited for in the coming school year, their answers ranged from advanced placement math to freeze tag. They talked about their worries as well, which included the stairs at the middle-high school and adjusting to getting up early after a summer of sleeping in.

There's another opportunity for Lake Placid residents to meet the new principals, from 2 to 5 p.m. today in the foyer of the Lake Placid Middle and High School.

The principals and Catania spent the time Wednesday night bouncing ideas off one another for getting more community members onto the school's campuses, having artists-in-residence at the schools and educational movie nights, and the News also took the opportunity to learn more about each of the new principals.

Brian Latella

Elementary school

Bio: Originally from central New York, outside of Utica. Married with two sons. Wife Melissa is also a teacher. Lives in Lake Placid.

Degrees: SUNY Cortland, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

How long in education? 12 years as a fifth-grade teacher in Hamilton after long-term substitute teaching and coaching at his alma mater in Frankfort.

Why did he want to go into the education field? Sixth-grade teacher was his first male teacher, and he changed how Latella approached things as a learner and as a participant in class. Mr. Bradley was an honest teacher who let Latella know he didn't know everything, and he helped him work better with classmates.

Interesting fact: During his last school year in Hamilton, he helped lead a "character committee," and he dressed up as Captain Kindness. "He travels around the world wearing a green cape and a mask."

Theresa Lindsay

Middle school

Bio: Born and raised in New Jersey, moved to the Tri-Lakes 16 years ago. Not married, has three children. Lives in Lake Placid.

Degrees: Marymount University, SUNY Albany and College of St. Rose

How long in education? 16 years. Kindergarten teacher for five years, literary specialist for five years, Bloomingdale Elementary School principal.

Why did she want to go into the education field? When she was 5 years old, a neighbor set up a play school on her front porch, and she taught Lindsay to spell her name - not an easy name to spell. The neighbor was so excited when Lindsay finally got it that she did a cartwheel off the porch. "And I was like, 'Yeah, I want that feeling.' That was kind of my driving force."

Interesting fact: At Bloomingdale Elementary School, Lindsay was duct taped to a wall as part of a reading challenge. It was done as students were leaving school on a break, and they were worried no one would be there to help her down from the wall.

Dana Wood

High school

Bio: Originally from Dutchess County. Moved to Saranac Lake at 11, graduated from Saranac Lake High School. Married with two children. Lives in Saranac Lake.

Degrees: SUNY Plattsburgh

How long in education? Since 1995. Started at Saranac Lake as a social studies teacher, then worked in enrollment management at North Country Community College for a few years before returning to Saranac Lake High School to teach for 12 years, then two years at the Saranac Lake Middle School as dean of students and an eighth-grade social studies teacher.

Why did he want to go into the education field? Always had an interest in history. "I figured, 'What better place to enjoy my love for history than be in an educational setting?'"

Interesting fact: He has coached at least seven different sports at every level, and when he hasn't, he has run the clock for other sports.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@



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