GASD says goodbye to four school principals

The Greater Amsterdam School District announces the following administrative changes for the 2021-22 school year affecting four of its schools.

Donna Decker – Barkley Elementary School Principal

Donna Decker has announced her retirement from GASD effective in August after serving the last eight years as Principal of Barkley Elementary School. She has been an employee of the district for 32 years and has served in multiple roles as an administrator and teacher. She says she will miss “the smiles on students’ faces and the constant chatter and excitement that goes along with student learning.”

“It has been my privilege to have served as Barkley Principal,” Decker said. “Together with the parents and staff we have created an environment where students come first and the environment is one of kindness, respect and understanding. I know that these qualities will continue long after I retire.”

Decker said she would like to thank the parents for allowing her the “honor” of being part of their children’s lives. “It’s been one of the greatest joys of my career and I have loved every minute of it,” she said. “I will forever cherish the memories that were made.  Barkley is an amazing place with outstanding educators and staff that care deeply about students, and I am glad I was able to be part of this wonderful place that feels like home.”

Decker will be replaced by Nancy Rad, GASD Community Schools Coordinator for the past five years, and a longtime teacher and administrator.

John Penman – Marie Curie Institute Principal

John Penman has announced his retirement from GASD after serving the last eight years as Principal of Marie Curie Institute and four years as Lynch Literacy Academy Principal prior to that. His last day in the district will be Aug. 18.

MCI Assistant Principal Meaghan Gosh will replace Penman in the Principal’s role, and Krystal Dembrowski has been appointed new Assistant Principal at MCI. She comes to GASD from Lansingburgh Schools where she was a Spanish teacher.

“I will certainly miss the people I have worked with over the years, many who have come to be my friends as well as the students that have kept me young,” Penman said. “Curie will continue to be an outstanding school after I go. Everyone that works there truly makes it a family! The building is in good hands under Meaghan Gosh’s leadership.”

Elizabeth Hanan, Lynch Literacy Academy Principal

Elizabeth Hanan has announced she is stepping down June 30 at Lynch Literacy Academy where she has been Principal for the past four and a half years. She is leaving the area to be closer to her family. GASD is interviewing now for her replacement.

Hanan said she will greatly miss the families and staff at LLA. “I will miss greeting students and staff every morning and being able to share in your joy and accomplishments,” she said. “We’ve become like family over the last few years and I will remember our experiences together fondly. I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity and responsibility to serve LLA and the Amsterdam community. I am grateful for your trust and wish you all nothing but the best in the future.”

Eric Romano – McNulty Academy Principal

Eric Romano has announced he is leaving McNulty Academy where he has been school Principal for the past two years. Prior to that he was Assistant Principal at Marie Curie Institute for two years.

Romano is returning to his alma mater, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District, to become the Elementary School Principal. He graduated from FFCS in 2004 and was a teacher there for eight years before coming to GASD. His last day in the district is June 30. GASD is interviewing now for his replacement. He says he will miss the McNulty children and their excitement for learning.

“I want to thank the Greater Amsterdam School District for giving me the opportunity to lead McNulty for two years,” Romano said. “Thank you to the students and families for working with me and pushing me to be better. Thank you to my staff for the effort that they put in over the past two years to improve the school and the educational experience of our students. I have enjoyed my time at McNulty, and wish that we could have spent more time together in person, but will always appreciate everything that I have experienced and learned here.”