Superintendent's Brief


Good afternoon,

Before you head off for the long holiday weekend, I have a few reminders, some congratulations and updates that I would like to share. First, while we are all looking for some rest and relaxation with the extra day this weekend, please pause and join me in offering sincere gratitude to all who have served and to those who continue to serve our country. Remember the significance of Veterans Day. It's a special day set aside for our nation to come together to reflect and honor the men and women of the Armed Forces. While there are really no words that can express how much their service means, it's important that we all do our best to give huge thanks for their courage, sacrifice, dedication and service.

To the Veterans in our schools and community, "thank you." Thank you for your dedication and service. I honor, respect and appreciate you and everything you do for our country.

Thank you to Veterans

This week is National School Psychology Awareness Week, during which we highlight the important work that school psychologists do to help students thrive. We are well aware of the important role that school psychologists play in our district especially in response to the pandemic. School clinicians are important because children and teens face problems from time to time related to learning, social relationships, decision-making and managing emotions such as depression, anxiety, worry or isolation. Each of our schools offers psychologists and social workers who have the skills and expertise to help our young people overcome these struggles and challenges. They partner with families, teachers and other professionals to create, understand and resolve both long-term chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face, and work to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments. #SchoolPsychWeek

Thank you to all of our school psychologists who work tirelessly to ensure that our students have the support that they need to be successful in school.

Last night, administrative members of the Secondary Redesign Team provided an update to the Board of Education. They shared with the board that it has been an inclusive process since beginning in January 2022 and that student voice has been and continues to be a vital driver. The team shared that they have heard, loud and clear, from students that options and opportunities are what they want and need.

Team members spoke about the excitement and benefits of the new leadership communities including the value of the Freshman Academy, the new learning opportunities and community collaboration, including mentorship and internship opportunities that are in development, and the downtown "City As Our Campus" with SUNY Schenectady and Proctors. The students in the Visual Performing Arts Leadership Community were excited to showcase their excitement and what they are learning with cinematography, theater, and dance with a student-produced video that was shown.

Check out the "Something New" video, below, produced by students who attend the Visual Performing Arts Leadership Community as part of City as Our Campus.

The team also provided an update on middle school goals that were set. I'm pleased to share that there has already been much progress in our efforts to create equitable experiences for all middle school students. Effective this year, all middle schools have the same school schedule, offer the same courses and electives, and students have access to quality social and academic supports and programs. We have also expanded sections of high school credit bearing courses at the middle school level and we continue the development of the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program. Middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum is also aligned with high school leadership communities.

Moving forward, efforts include strengthening partnerships with Clarkson, SUNY Schenectady, Proctors and Ellis Hospital. As we develop our plans we will also have conversations and consider where the Freshman Leadership Academy should be located in the long-run, how we create CTE experiences at the high school and considerations for a Capital Project that will support the development of our leadership communities.

Our team is planning to visit other schools who serve as models for aspects of the program including "Big Picture Learning," which requires rethinking the future of education. It is student-centered learning with student choice, student voice, personalized learning and electives, and in collaboration with the community, presents a variety of opportunities such as fellowship, mentorship, internship and outside of school learning. The team will return to the board with another presentation and some decisions in January.

You can watch the video of the presentation here or download the slide deck here.

This is exciting for our school community. Thank you to the Secondary Redesign Team, and to everyone who continues to provide insight, input, and feedback. It's important that we do this work together. Because of you, we are #schenectadyrising.

Also at Wednesday's Board Meeting, Mike Silvestri (Schenectady Federation of Teachers President) and Carmella Parente (Director of Teaching and Learning) were presented a plaque by New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) for their work and training to empower early career educators on racial justice. Thank you for your commitment and congratulations on the recognition.

Twitter Photo of SFT President Mike Silvestri and Carmella Parente receiving a plaque from NYSUT for their work and training with Empowering Early Career Educators for Racial Justice.

Congratulations to Alexis Gibson who won the Sectional Championship in the 100 Butterfly earlier this week. She broke the school record with a time of 57.94 and is the first Swimming Girls Sectional Champion for Schenectady.

Alexis Gibson won the Sectional Championship this week

Mark your calendars for the Schenectady Holiday Parade which will be held on Friday, November 19, beginning at 5 p.m. I'm pleased to share that we have about ten district groups participating in the parade. I'm also looking forward to marching and respresenting. Look for the #schenectadyrising banner. It's certain to be a fun time.

Parade organizers held a press conference on Wednesday at Veterans Park. I was honored to be invited and asked to share a few words. I'm excited and grateful to be part of this annual event which kicks off the Schenectady downtown holiday season. I want to give a shout out and extend a huge thank you to CDTA who is providing shuttle service to our students participating in the parade.

Superintendent Soler Speaking at the Parade Press Conference

Organizers of the Schenectady Holiday Parade

Thank you to our district administrators who spent time volunteering at the City Mission this week. It takes a community taking care of each other. Way to represent our district and support our community.

Photo of district administrators volunteering at the City Mission.

This is another reminder to please stop by our job fair next week. It will be held on Tuesday, November 15 from 4-6 p.m at Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy (SCLA). Our hiring team will be on hand to conduct interviews and make employment offers. We are looking to hire paraprofessionals, custodians, cleaners, secretaries, nurses, lunch monitors, and safety personnel immediately.

Lastly, a final reminder that first quarter report card grades closed today. Report cards will be sent home with elementary school students and mailed for students in grades 6-12 on November 18.

Enjoy the weekend. We will see you next week.


Anibal Soler, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools


Alumni Profile:  Christopher Adamek

This week's featured alumni is Christopher Adamek, a 2003 graduate of Schenectady High School who is currently an assistant principal in the Ravena Coeyman's Selkirk School District. His fondest memory of SHS came during his senior year of varsity football. "Our last home football game of the year was a total downpour and Mulvaney field was still grass at the time. By the end of the game, we were feeling like we were playing in a swamp. After we beat Albany all of the seniors lined up on one side of the field and took off running then slid on our chests across the field through the mud. It was such a great moment and one of the best times we had together as a group."


Would you like to be featured?

If you are an alumni of SCSD and would like to be featured, let us know by completing this online form.

Photo of the Week

Photo of the week:  We saw this young voter cast his ballot for chocolate chip cookies over Oreos in Mrs. White's class.

We saw this young voter cast his ballot for chocolate chip cookies over Oreos in Mrs. White's class.

School Psych Week

This week we celebrate National School Psychology week. Special thank you to our wonderful school psychologists who work so hard to ensure our students thrive and achieve their goals. #SchoolPsychWeek

This week we celebrate National School Psychology week. Special thank you to our wonderful school psychologists who work so hard to ensure our students thrive and achieve their goals. #SchoolPsychWeek

Veterans Day Project at SCLA

Link to a video:  Jim Keough's CAD class at SCLA worked on a special Veterans Day project this week.  Click here.

Jim Keough's CAD class at SCLA worked on a special project honoring teachers, friends and family who served. Thank you Veterans! Watch the video here on our YouTube channel.

SHS Students Enjoy Show at UAlbany

Photo:  SHS. students attend performance at U-Albany Performing Arts Center

Last week, 75 International Baccalaureate (IB) Juniors attended a performance at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center.  Students are studying language and literature this year and working to analyze and evaluate literary and non-literary works through lenses of culture, identity, and creativity, among others.  This experience allowed students the opportunity to see literature come to life on stage with the theatrical adaptation of the memoir, The Latehomecomer.  This story, told from the perspective of a Hmong refugee, is about family, the balance between independence and interdependence, survival, and the strength that can be found within oneself.  

Photo:  On Friday, November 4th, 75 IB juniors attended a performance at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center.

Zoller Students Plant Apple Trees

Photo:  Zoller student plant apple trees

Farm to School Coordinator, Rebekka Henriksen, helped us partner with Schenectady County Soil & Water Conservation District and ReTree Schenectady to bring ten new apple trees to the Zoller campus.

Smart Transfer Students Recognized on First Generation College Student Day

Photo:  Smart Transfer Students Recognized on First Generation College Student Day

Tuesday was First Generation College Student recognition day. Students from SHS who attend SUNY Schenectady's Smart Transfer Program were celebrated. 

Athletics Fall Celebration

Photo of students from the Athletics Fall Celebration

On Wednesday, the Athletic Department celebrated all of our fall athletes. They enjoyed a fun event with food provided by Ya Yas Kitchen, located in downtown Schenectady.


Don't miss our job fair on November 15


On behalf of the Office of Teaching and Learning, please click here for the November Newsletter with information, updates and more.

Click here to open the November Newsletter from the Office of Teaching and Learning



November 11
No School, Veterans Day Holiday
District Offices are Closed

November 16
Half Day of School for Students in Grades Pre-K through 5, Parent Teacher Conferences
Dismissal will be at 10:55 a.m.

November 18
Report cards sent home with elementary school students and mailed home to parents of students in grade 6-12.

November 23 - 25
No School, Thanksgiving Holiday


There is a menu change for elementary school on Monday, November 14. The hot lunch will be Crispy Chicken Patty Sandwich instead of the Beef Hamburger.


We are still accepting applications from students who attend Keane, Central Park, Mont Pleasant, SHS, SCLA for the 21st Century After School Program. More Information

If you are interested in the extended day program in your child's school, please contact your child's school.


The following were appointed by the Board of Education on November 9. If you are new to our district "Welcome to Schenectady!"


  • Edgar Glascott, Assistant Principal, MPMS

  • Erica Simpson, Assistant Principal, SHS

Operations and Maintenance

  • Jerome Belle, Cleaner, SHS

  • Adam DiCocco, Cleaner, SHS

  • Angela Gopaul, Cleaner, Zoller

  • Victoria winnie, Cleaner, Howe

Parent Liaisons

  • Marcia McGill, Keane

  • Jayvanua Williams, Lincoln

Culture and Community Engagement Specialists

  • Stefanie Bartley, OMS

  • Tessa Beddow, MPMS

  • Mandy Crawford, CPMS

  • Aaron Giumarra, Keane

  • Kmla Karria, SHS

School Safety Officers

  • Zackery Deering, SHS

  • Christopher Scaccia, SHS

Security Monitors

  • Charles Maurer, OMS

  • Emanuel Mayben, SCLA

  • Michael Rourke, SHS

Secretarial, IPS II

  • Alizza Diamond, Central Office

  • Kari Petrozola, SHS

  • Jasmine Santiago, King

  • Bernice Whiting, SHS


  • Ryan DeMars, Technical/Trade Subjects, MPMS

  • Sarah Hashim, ESS, Hamilton

  • Yun Hee Lee, ESL, MPMS

  • Margaret Rempe, Music, Lincoln, King, Zoller

  • Anasia Thompson-Lawrence, Social Work, SHS

  • Laura Vollmer, School Psychologist, CPMS


  • Nancy Braley, ATLAS Tutor, WIEC


  • Nicole Alexander-Hamlin, SHS

  • Erin Daley, Zoller

  • Ashley Encarnacion, Zoller

  • Yanilette Gonzalez, Hamilton

  • Chelsea Murray, Zoller

  • Drea Noble, SHS

  • Nydia Rodriguez, Woodlawn

  • Chrishaunna Rogers, Keane

  • Stephanie Silva, CPMS

  • Shaunna Starr, Woodlawn

  • Shaaisha Terry, King

  • Domonique Thomas, Paige

  • Amya Westerman, Keane

Lunch Monitors

  • Alae Alleyne, King

  • Mazia Eaddy, Woodlawn

  • Shane Foss, Yates

  • Rashina Hardial, Hamilton

  • Jacqueline Johnson-Joseph, Hamilton

  • Katelyn Jones, Keane

  • Padmini Singh, Howe

  • Najlah Theodule Cadely, Paige

Staff Notes

CPR/AED Training

Training will be. held Tuesday, November 8 from 6-8 p.m. in the SHS Commons.

Contact Anne Osborne to register.

This class does not meet the requirement for coaches, nurses or site leaders.

Reminder: CPR/AED certification is required for all who work in after-school and summer programs

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TCIS Opportunities

The Cornell University designed TCIS class is offered to SCSD staff quarterly. The next class is a four-day course as follows:

Jan. 20: 4-8 p.m.
Jan. 21: 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: 4 - 8 p.m.
Jan 28: 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

You must attend all four days.

Sign up at SchenectadyLearns.

If you have questions, email Laura DaPolito.

Connect Kids to Parks Field Trip Grant Program

Connect Kids is designed to connect students in NYS with nature and history Each grant provide reimbursement of up to $80 per students (and $160 for Special Education students) for field trip to state and federal parks, forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries and outdoor recreation areas. Apply here

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NERIC Instructional Tech Team News

Instructional Tech Team News Here

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Creative Drama K-5 Teachers

Creative Drama

Click here for more.

Community Note

Circles of Support Celebration

Circles of Support Celebration is holding an online auction November 7 - 16, to benefit Working Group on Girls of Schenectady, Inc. Bidding is open. Go here: https://event.auctria.com/1243a143-d63f-4fd1-9f40.../

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PREVIOUS BRIEFS: For the index of Volume 1 and Volume 2 Briefs, click here.