By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
Mayfield resident Maria Hernandez is the newest addition to the administration of the Greater Amsterdam School District.
Hernandez was recently hired as a new assistant principal at the Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy, and will join Principal Joseph Witazek and Assistant Principal Charles J. Meyers Jr. Aug. 1.
Hernandez was born and raised in Spain, and moved to the United States more than 15 years ago to get her teaching degree at the University at Albany.
"I wanted to be an English teacher in Spain," she said. "I enrolled at SUNY Albany and I stayed."
Hernandez, who was formerly employed at the Watervliet School District, said she hopes to utilize her bilingual background to bridge what she described as a communication gap in the school district.
"I thought this would be a great opportunity to get the community involved in what we do with the schools. I know sometimes reaching out to the parents is difficult because there is no one to communicate with them. Having that asset, I thought it would be something I could bring to the table to benefit the district."
She said upon starting her position, one of her first objectives is to get to know the faculty and staff, as well as the community.
The GASD Board of Education appointed Hernandez to a three-year probationary period beginning Aug. 1 to June 31, 2017, with a salary of $92,745 based on the 2014-15 administrator salary schedule.
Hernandez is filling in a new position at Lynch Literacy Academy.
It was created when Randolph Hutto, former assistant principal and athletic director , resigned from his positions in April.
Hutto had essentially been wearing two hats -- as assistant principal, he was responsible for discipline and student management; as athletic director he worked with student-athletes district-wide.
Administrators abolished that position, and instead created Hernandez's position, as well as a coordinator of health, physical education and interscholastic sports position that does not have any student management duties.
Brian Mazza Jr. was appointed to the coordinator post at the board of education's June meeting. His position is funded with Contract for Excellence aid from the state, and is 7 percent less than Hutto's former pay for the athletic director duties.
Superintendent Thomas Perillo previously said the assistant principal position will be responsible for new annual professional performance review teacher requirements, and to help with student management.
Hernandez has a bachelor's degrees in Spanish and English as well as a masters in linguistics from SUNY ALBANY.
She also has a master's degree in education administration from the College of Saint Rose.
Hernandez said she was recently accepted to Russell Sage College, where she plans to get her doctorate.