OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District named Kara Shore as the new principal at Leighton Elementary School on Tuesday night.
She comes to the Port City from Cicero. She was employed at the Baldwinsville Central School District where she was the principal at VanBuren Elementary school.
She grew up in Syracuse through middle school before her family relocated to Cicero where she graduated high school.
“Right out of high school I went right into the United States Air Force,” she said.
She worked at NORAD, “We tracked Santa Claus (on his Christmas Eve journey),” she added. “That’s so fun.”
After leaving the military, she became a teacher and worked in the Syracuse City School District as a middle school special education teacher.
“I became an administrator about 10 years ago,” she said. “I started as an administrative intern at Dansforth Middle School.”
From there, she moved on to become a vice principal and worked in other SCSD schools.
“When I talked with everyone in my interviews (for the Leighton job), I found that the community is really very close-knit and believes in how children will grow, how do we keep kids here, how do we keep kids in New York State?” she explained.
It’s getting harder and harder to get kids to stay in CNY, like she did, after graduation, she added
“I think Oswego is doing a good job at trying to do that. Just like tonight when they were talking about getting community college credits while still in high school. Things like that will really inspire young kids to want to stay and really be excited and want to be a part of it,” she said.
She said she is looking forward to joining the team at Leighton as it likely moves forward with housing the district’s central offices in the future.
“My first kind of goals is to let parents know, community members know, even though it’s a short time to invite them into the building and meet me, especially for the new kids, the kindergartners, I’d like them to stop in so everyone can see what’s going on. I think it’s exciting in the sense of it’s a nice opportunity that you have a superintendent that’s right inside of a school; he sees what is going on every day, that’s important, he has a pulse on things,” she said. “I’m excited about that to be honest with you.”
One thing she’d like to accomplish in her first year is continue to improve the district’s state test scores.
“But, also really developing a culture, I think that’s a really important thing for me,” she said. “I’m new coming in. How do I understand the community, how do I get to know the community so that people feel it’s a safe place to learn, it’s a safe place to take risks in their learning and that I’m visible? Hopefully, in a year from now, parents, community members will say that, kids will say that they know me very well. They won’t just say ‘I went to the principal’s office.’ They’ll say I am part of that school culture.”
She begins her duties on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at a salary of $92,000.
Shore will be eligible for tenure on Aug.17, 2020.