With the new year also comes a new principal for Volney Elementary School. Lisa Garofalo has replaced Interim Principal Michael Egan, and brings with her ten years of administration experience.
Her most recent job was with the Syracuse City School District, where she was a vice principal at the West Side Academy at Blodgett. She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse.
Garofalo holds three certifications, including one in special education. She was a former principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and also taught high school math in the Whitesboro School District.
Garofalo said that she is thrilled to be principal at a school with such a high reputation.
“The first few days here have been fabulous, I can’t stop smiling. I enjoy interacting with the children; I had lunch with a group of fourth grade girls and we had great conversation,” said.
Garofalo has always wanted to be an elementary principal, and it seemed like the next step in her career.
In her second interview for the position, she found the staff to be so passionate, and wanted to be a part of such a successful school.
“I can tell this will be a good fit because the staff is so dedicated and puts the students first,” she said.
Joining mid-year, Garofalo has had a lot of catching up to do. She recently attended at Parent Teacher Group meeting, where they shared with Garofalo the school’s annual traditions, like the end of the year ice-cream social.
She is interested in starting her own traditions in time, but for now, is diligently taking notes and trying to make connections.
“I’ve made it my personal mission to learn the names of every student in the building,” said Garofalo.
If a name slips her memory, she asks that students remind her upon each greeting.
“My job (as principal) is all about building relationships and developing an understanding of behaviors, and that starts with knowing the students and my team on a personal level,” she said. “I want the students to see me as a support, and I want parents to see me as someone that will be there to make their child’s elementary experience positive.”
Garofalo, who commutes from Fayetteville, is looking forward to becoming part of Volney community.
“This is a family oriented building, and I want to find out what is important to the people here,” she said.