Administrative Staffing Updates – January 2022

The district has a series of administrative staffing updates to share. We are looking forward to welcoming new members to our Leadership Team, and want to say thank you to those who are leaving for their service to our students and community.

Niskayuna High School Assistant Principal Joseph Coleman

At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday of this week, Joseph Coleman was appointed Niskayuna High School assistant principal following a comprehensive search and selection process that included district and high school stakeholders. Coleman will take over for Assistant Principal Eva Jones, who is retiring in February.

Coleman is currently assistant principal of Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant Middle School, a role that he has served in since 2017. Prior to that, he was a math teacher in Troy. As a middle school leader in Schenectady, Coleman has played an active role in supporting teachers, working with families, implementing school safety plans, and school culture, attendance, discipline and academic initiatives. He will begin at Niskayuna High School on Feb. 28.

Dr. Eva Jones has served as one of two assistant high school principals since 2015, and prior to that was director of English Language Arts 9-12 for a decade. In addition to her service at the high school, Dr. Jones has played a leadership role in numerous district-wide efforts, including diversity, equity and inclusion work; the transition to a new Code of Conduct with a focus on social and emotional support and restorative practices; and the development of the district’s Academic Program Vision

Interim Director of Secondary Special Education John Penman

Also at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, John Penman was appointed to be the interim director of secondary special education. Penman will serve in this role while Secondary Special Education Director Jessie Richards is on a temporary leave of absence until mid-March. He began in the district this week. As a special education specialist, Penman currently serves as a mentor/coach with the Capital Area School Development Association and prior to that he was an elementary principal in the Greater Amsterdam School District.

Administrative Staffing Searches Underway

Comprehensive searches are underway for a director of social studies, world language, and English as a new language, as well as for a director of elementary special education. Imran Abbasi, former director of social studies, world language, and English as a new language, left Niskayuna for a position in another district last month, and current Director of Elementary Special Education Elizabeth Morphy has accepted a position with another district.

Transportation Director Richard Kirk

Last month, Richard Kirk began as the district’s director of transportation through Capital Region BOCES following the retirement of Mary Mabb. Kirk joined the Transportation Department as a dispatcher in 2016 and continued as a member of the department when BOCES began managing district transportation services two years later. He brings a strong background in student transportation and Niskayuna experience to the director’s position.

We welcome Joseph and John to Niskayuna and congratulate Richard on his new role. Additionally, please join us in thanking Eva, Imran, Elizabeth and Mary for their contributions to the Niskayuna learning community.

Juliette Pennyman, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools