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New junior high principal to be recommended to Massena Board of Education Thursday

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MASSENA - Massena Central School Interim Superintendent William W. Crist says he will be recommending Thursday night that the board of education appoint a new principal at J.W. Leary Junior High School.

Former Principal Jesse C. Coburn has been appointed as the grades seven through 12 principal at Heuvelton Central School, and Steve Barlow, who retired in 2004 as principal of the junior and senior high school in Ogdensburg, has been serving as interim principal at J.W. Leary Junior High.

“Steve is going to be there until we fill (the position) or get the individual ready to start,” Mr. Crist said Wednesday.

The board of education will be asked to make an appointment during their regular monthly meeting Thursday.

“We were successful in identifying someone who will be brought forth to the board tomorrow evening,” Mr. Crist said.

Interviews had been conducted earlier this week, he said.

“We have what I believe to be a very qualified group of candidates. We were able to identify several who were interviewed. We spent the early part of this week interviewing candidates. We brought together a committee of stakeholder representatives from the Leary community - teachers, support staff, parents and some administration. We were able to make a unanimous recommendation that will be considered tomorrow evening by the board,” Mr. Crist said.

Mr. Coburn, who had been with the district since Sept. 24, 2007, had served as principal at J.W. Leary Junior High since August 2008. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Massena Central High School. He taught high school earth science and a forensic science elective at Heuvelton from 2004 to 2007.

Massena’s board of education had accepted Mr. Coburn’s resignation on Nov. 7. That was effective Dec. 6.

Mr. Barlow, the interim junior high principal, had previously served under William Flynn, a retired Ogdensburg City School District superintendent who has been serving as interim principal at Nightengale Elementary School since October. Mr. Flynn took over following the departure of Shannon Jordan for a position with the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

“There’s an Ogdensburg connection. Bill Flynn was the retired superintendent in Ogdensburg, and Steve was Bill Flynn’s junior and senior high school principal,” Mr. Crist said.

The board of education appointed Amy Hornung in November to take over as the new Nightengale Elementary principal. She begins her duties on Monday.

Ms. Hornung had previously served as interim principal at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School during the 2012-13 school year. Johnathan R. Hirschey, a former Nightengale Elementary teacher, took over as elementary principal at St. Lawrence Central this year.

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