F-M appoints two new principals

The principals at Fayetteville-Manlius High School and Wellwood Middle School will be new next year, but they won't be unfamiliar to students, teachers and families.

The Fayetteville-Manlius Board of Education at its March 22 meeting approved the appointment of Ray Kilmer as F-M High School's next principal, and Melissa Corbin as Wellwood's next principal. Both currently serve as assistant principals in the buildings they will lead starting in July.

Kilmer and Corbin were selected through an extensive search process, said Superintendent Corliss Kaiser.

"They have each gained excellent experience as part of our administrative staff," Kaiser said. "We are pleased that they will be remaining with us and that they will be taking on new responsibilities."

Current high school principal Jim Chupaila and Wellwood principal John Almonte will retire at the end of June.

About Kilmer

Kilmer began his teaching career at F-MHS as a social studies teacher. He taught law studies, U.S. history, and SUPA psychology.

"We've known Ray's work, from the classroom up through the assistant principalship, and he has always done an outstanding job," Kaiser said.

Kilmer said he loved teaching, but working on district-wide committees showed him new ways to contribute to students' success. That led him to seek a position in school administration. He became an assistant principal at the high school in January 2007.

"It became clear to me that I wanted to have a larger role in how schools operate, to be a part of more students' lives," Kilmer said.

Even though he is no longer in the classroom, he strives to maintain direct relationships with students, he said.

"You just have to make it an important part of your day," he said.

One of the most challenging aspects of his new job will be sustaining the kind of change needed to help students master 21st Century skills.

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