FULTON, NY – The search for a new principal at the Fulton Junior High School has come to an end as the Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of Christopher T. Leece, effective July 1, 2017.
Leece began his career with the Fulton City School District after completing a bachelors degree in biology and a masters degree in education from SUNY Oswego as well as continuing his graduate studies to complete an advanced certificate in education administration.
Starting as a science teacher at the Fulton Junior High School until the year 2012, he then served as the coordinator of alternative education before he was assigned to G. Ray Bodley High School in 2013 as a science teacher and was appointed the position of science department chair, his current position within the district.
Throughout his years in the district he has held many leadership roles and participated in seven years of coaching both the varsity and junior varsity girls basketball team.
All together, FCSD Superintendent Brian Pulvino said Leece has a well-rounded background that he finds beneficial to assume the responsibilities in his role of principal.
“We went through a pretty comprehensive process to find our next principal, and Chris (Leece) did very well in all aspects of that process. He demonstrated a true commitment to putting the kids first and emphasizing the belief that all students means all students,” Pulvino said.
The comprehensive process involved interview committees composed from different stakeholder groups including faculty, administration, parents, supports staff, students and more.
“We got great feedback from all our stakeholder groups which is important as well,” Pulvino added.
Leece will begin his position effective July 1, leaving G. Ray Bodley High School to return to the Fulton Junior High where his career with the district began.
“It’s exciting. It’s the chance to go back to where I started teaching, back to where it all began,” Leece said of his new position. “It’s an opportunity that ten years ago I would have never even dreamed about, but I’m thrilled for the opportunities there and to work with the terrific faculty and staff and a group of kids that are always energetic.”
Leece is familiar with the pace and context of the junior high learning environment and has proved his ability to develop meaningful relationships with students to ensure they are successful and accountable.
Last year, Leece was asked by the senior class to speak the opening remarks at the 2016 graduation commencement. Having progressed his career alongside these students transitioning together from junior high to high school, he developed a unique relationship that left a long lasting impression on many students.
“You learn as much from those relationships as you do from any content or standard that’s taught in school,” he said.
He looks forward to providing a quality educational environment and the continued opportunity to impact the lives of young students, he said.
Leece will be the permanent replacement to take over the interim principal position currently held by Olivia Cambs.
Former principal, Ryan Lanigan resigned in September 2016 to accept a position elsewhere. Later that same month, the Board of Education approved Cambs’ temporary position beginning in October and running through the end of the school year.
District officials spent the remainder of the school year in search of a suitable permanent replacement.
“I really think we made a great match,” Superintendent Pulvino said.