Fulton school board appoints new principal, math coach

By Debra J. Groom

The Fulton school district hired a new principal for Volney Elementary School at its meeting Tuesday night.

Lisa Garofalo, who has worked for many years in the Syracuse City School District, will begin as the new Volney principal on Jan. 6. She will earn $91,500 a year.

Superintendent William Lynch said Garofalo is new to the Fulton district and previously was assistant principal at the West Side Academy in Syracuse. She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse. She was principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and taught math in the Whitesboro school district in Oneida County.

She received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo, her master’s in special education from the College of St. Rose in Albany and her certificate of advanced study from SUNY Cortland.

The previous Volney principal Jeff Hendrickson was moved to the principal job at Lanigan Elementary at the beginning of the year due to a new policy that states spouses cannot work at the same school.

Former Superintendent Michael Egan has been filling in a interim principal.

In other business Tuesday night, the school board had the first reading of the new fragrance policy for the district. Lynch said the policy was studied and went through two months of discussion in the board’s policy committee before coming to the full board.

He said the policy sets a statement about fragrances in the district and “what factors impact people’s health.” He said the policy contains voluntary compliance and is primarily one to raise awareness amongst staff and students on items that could be offensive to some people.

The policy came about when science teacher Colleen O’Brien told the district she suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity and was bothered by various fragrances in school. She told the school board at a previous meeting that students would deliberately spray fragrances in front of her classroom to trigger an attack of her illness.

O’Brien has said in the past she supports the district enacting a fragrance-free policy for its buildings.

The policy will have its second reading and will be voted on at the school board’s Dec. 10 meeting.

Also Tuesday night, the board hired a teacher who will work as an instructional coach for math teachers in grades kindergarten through eight.

Lynnette DePoint, who currently works in the Hannibal school district, will help teachers deal with Common Core requirements in math. She will be paid a base salary of $56,765 a year and a stipend of $5,000.

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