BROADALBIN -- Bradley Strait, who has worked as a special education teacher at The Learning Community at Broadalbin-Perth since 2004, has been appointed building leader and dean of students at the school. Members of the Board of Education approved the appointment during executive session Monday evening. Strait begins his new role today. He replaces Teresa LaFountain, who is the district's new director of curriculum and instruction/grant coordinator.
"Over the last nine years at Broadalbin-Perth, I've been fortunate to work with a lot of great people who have motivated and inspired me," Strait said. "I am honored and excited to take on this new challenge, and I look forward to continue collaborating with the outstanding educators at The Learning Community."
In the spring, Strait began a graduate program at the College of Saint Rose that will lead to a certificate of advanced studies in educational administration and leadership. When Strait completes the program in July 2015, his title will change to TLC principal. In the meantime, the two previous TLC principals -- LaFountain and Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson -- will work closely with Strait in his new role.
"Since the district hired Brad as a teacher nine years ago, he has grown into a leader," Tomlinson said. "His peers look up to him -- they listen to and respect him. I strongly believe that Brad will be an effective leader and a quality addition to the district leadership team."
As TLC building leader and dean of students, Strait will oversee the day-to-day operation of the school. Until Strait completes his administrator certification, LaFountain will lead the state-mandated teacher evaluation process at TLC with Strait.
"I'm thrilled that Brad is taking over leadership of TLC," LaFountain said. "With his special education and reading background, teachers frequently look to him for instructional advice and many of his colleagues already see him as a leader. Because he already knows our teachers, students and building, I think his transition will be easier in those areas, allowing him to focus on developing his own leadership style."
Tomlinson said the search committee interviewed 10 other candidates for the TLC principal position before asking Strait to interview. Because Strait will serve in the building leader role for a year before completing his administrator certificate, Tomlinson said the district has been and will continue to work closely with the College of Saint Rose and the New York State Education Department to ensure the school meets all state regulations.
"Brad is a lifelong learner," said Christine Foglia-Sands, B-P's director of special programs. "He makes the most of every professional development opportunity we offer and brings the ideas he learns back to his classroom where he adapts them and makes them even better. I believe he'll be an outstanding leader at TLC."
During his tenure at TLC, Strait has worked with children in grades one through three as a special education teacher, and was instrumental in the development of Broadalbin-Perth's inclusion classroom model, a news release said. As a member of the TLC building leadership team for the past two years, Strait has been involved in making critical decisions affecting the school and district. He is also a Teacher Leader, the highest possible position, under the district's grant-funded APLUSS (Academy of Peer Learning: United for Student Success) program. Strait has also been the head coach of B-P's JV boys basketball team for the past nine seasons.
A graduate of Hobart College, Strait completed his master's degree in special education at the College of Saint Rose in 2008. He holds New York state certifications in childhood education and special education for grades 1-6.
Students and parents will have an opportunity to talk with Strait in his new capacity as TLC building leader during an event that will be held in early August.