Celebrated principal to speak at JHS

JOHNSTOWN – The Greater Johnstown School District will host an administrative program the day before school starts for area school administrators and teachers, with former Brockton, Mass., High School Principal Susan Szachowicz as the guest speaker.

Superintendent Robert DeLilli told the Board of Education Thursday the program with Szachowicz will be conducted at 9 a.m. Sept. 4 in the high school’s large auditorium.

DeLilli told the board in July he was trying to line up Szachowicz, who has been celebrated for turning Brockton High School around. He said the program also will be attended by educators from other area schools.

DeLilli said last month that Szachowicz has been lauded with leading a literacy initiative in recent years that moved her school from its status as one of the lowest-performing in the state to one of the highest. Her work helping low-income and non-English-speaking students gained high marks from educators, he said.

Continuing his report to the board, DeLilli said the district is continuing to work on future goals.

Goal-setting meetings were scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 9 and 16 at Johnstown High School.

DeLilli said faculty members continue to be exposed to newer forms of professional development through several state Education Department initiatives. One key component to the Board of Regents reform agenda is the shift to what is known as Common Core standards. The goal of the reform is to have every student graduate from high school with skills for college and or careers.

“It’s quite the time to be a teacher,” DeLilli said.

He said the focus is on having the district support teachers and administrators. He said Common Core is “non-negotiable,” but the district can help teachers in many ways.

The state for the first time in 2013 is reporting third- through eighth-grade student grade-level expectations against a trajectory of college- and career-readiness, as measured by tests reflective of Common Core.

He said the district is aligning its goals with state goals such as they relate to teaching data, methods and Common Core.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.