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ESM welcomes new principal to Woodland Elementary

Tom Colabufo sits at his desk at Woodland Elementary School. Colabufo is the school's new principal.

Tom Colabufo sits at his desk at Woodland Elementary School. Colabufo is the school's new principal. Marcia Kelley

— “I want parents to see this isn’t just a job for me — it’s part of my life. I love playing an active role in the school community. I like getting into the classroom and being involved, supporting teachers and going to evening events.”

For Colabufo, communicating with parents will be a “huge” part of his daily routine.

“We need to create a connection to parents for their children to be successful,” he said. “I’m approachable, I return phone calls and e-mails and I understand parents are passionate about their children.”

He is excited about the opportunity to work at ESM, a school district which he feels has a vision.

“With its five-year strategic plan, effective staff development, use of professional learning communities and adoption of Steven Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” ESM has everything I feel is essential in a program,” he said. “It is a district that knows how to use resources and put them into a big picture.”

Colabufo and his wife, Olivia, reside in Camillus. He is on the Associate Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s CNY Chapter, which he said is a “constant reminder of hope and determination.” He also enjoys playing and coaching sports and reading.

Education is in his blood — his father was a teacher and also a principal at Nottingham. His mother and three siblings are also teachers.

“My father said, ‘If you go into education, you will always feel good when you’re on your way home.’ After 15 years, I’m experiencing that every day.”

Marcia Kelley is school information officer for East Syracuse Minoa Schools.

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