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State Education commissioner certifies board's choice for superintendent

Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard would lead a contingent of new administrators for 2012-13

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 17, 2012) -- The State Education Department has granted Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D., certification to serve as superintendent in the City School District of Albany, clearing the way for the Board of Education to finalize contract details with its choice as the district’s next leader.


State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., made the announcement Aug. 17, finding that Dr. Vanden Wyngaard “has exceptional training and experience that … qualify her for the duties of a superintendent of schools” in New York state.


“We are pleased that Commissioner King has granted certification for Dr. Vanden Wyngaard to serve as a superintendent in New York state,” said board President Dan Egan. “The board believes Dr. Vanden Wyngaard will be an exceptional leader for our school district and community, and we look forward to our final negotiations so that she can begin her work in Albany as soon as possible.”


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard, currently the deputy superintendent in the Paterson (N.J.) Public Schools, already is certified as a superintendent in New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has been second-in-command in the 28,000-student Paterson district since 2010 and has been a senior administrator for the previous eight years. She holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University.


The board selected Dr. Vanden Wyngaard as its choice for superintendent in late July following a six-month national search. She was one of 27 candidates to apply for the position, and selected from a final group of three candidates.


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard will succeed Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D., as leader of Albany’s 8,600-student public-school system. Dr. Colucciello is under contract through October; Dr. Vanden Wyngaard’s start date will be determined after the board completes negotiations on her contract and officially appoints her to the new role.


In Paterson, Dr. Vanden Wyngaard is responsible for day-to-day operations of all facets of the school district, which has an annual budget of approximately $560 million. In Albany, she would lead a district with a 2012-13 budget of $207.7 million.


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard would be the second African-American woman to lead the district; Eleanor Powell Bartlett served as interim superintendent during the 1996-97 school year.


The board also approved several more new administrators at its Aug. 16 meeting:

  • Mark Place, previously the district’s technology coordinator, has been named chief information officer. He succeeds Ken Cioffi, who retired in July after 33 years of service to the district.

    • Place has served as the district's technology coordinator since April 2009, when he came to Albany following seven years in the Brittonkill Central School District outside of Troy. In Brittonkill, Place taught Earth Science and served as the district's technology and business program leader, and as the coordinator of technology. He began his career as a science teacher in the Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School District and also taught science in an alternative-education setting for Otsego-Northern Catskills BOCES. Place holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and a master's in educational administration from the University at Albany.

  • Stanley Harper has been named director of pupil personnel services. Harper previously supervised Albany High School’s $7.5 million magnet grant. He succeeds Silvia Ferlazzo, who retired in July after 40 years of service to the district.

    • Prior to taking over as Albany High's magnet grant director in 2010, Harper served as Albany High's house principal for school improvment and reform durin gthe 2009-10 school year. He came to Albany High as an assistant house principal in 2008 following three years in the Enlarged City School District of Troy, where he served as director of Troy High School's evening program as well as principal for elementary, middle and high-school summer-school programs. Harper holds a bachelor's degree from the SUNY College at Geneseo and a master's in education from The Sage Graduate School. He currently is a doctoral candidate at The Sage Graduate School.

  • Jalinda R. Soto has been named principal at Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy. Previously a highly regarded teacher at the school, Soto took over as acting principal in March. She succeeds Anthony Clement, who passed away in May following a battle with cancer.

    • Soto began her career with the district as a substitute teacher at Schuyler in 2007. She served as a special-education teacher at Arbor Hill Elementary School for the 2007-08 school year, and has been back at Schuyler since 2008-09. She has taught at both the elementary and middle-school levels, and came to the district following teaching experience in Troy, North Colonie (Shaker Junior High) and two Albany charter schools. She holds a bachelor's degree as well as a dual master's degree in special education and literacy from the University at Albany, as well as school building and school district leader certifications from The College of St. Rose.

  • Christopher Pallozzi has been named Leadership Academy principal at Albany High School. He succeeds Cecily Wilson, who was appointed Albany High’s interim principal in June.

    • Pallozzi joins the Albany High team after serving as an assistant principal at Schenectady High School in 2011-12. He was director of purchasing at Orange-Ulster BOCES in 2010-11 following seven years as a business teacher at Schenectady High. He also has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University at Albany and Schenectady County Community College, and also taught high school in Oceanside, Calif., in 2002-03. Pallozzi holds an associate's degree in business marketing from Hudson Valley Community College, a bachelor's degree from the SUNY College at Oneonta, a master's degree in educational technology from National University in San Diego, and school building leader, school district business leader and school district leader certificates from SUNY College at New Paltz.


The board also appointed two more principals in July: Jasmine N. Brown at Giffen Memorial Elementary School and C. Fred Engelhardt at Albany School of Humanities (ASH). Brown and Engelhardt succeed Maxine Fantroy-Ford, Ed.D., and Rosalyn Wallace, respectively. Dr. Ford and Wallace retired this summer after a combined 70 years of service to the district.


The district also is in the final stages of selecting a new human resources administrator. Assistant Superintendent Linda Jackson-Chalmers is retiring at the end of August following 38 years of service to the district.


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves about 8,600 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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