East Syracuse Shane Hacker is ready to lead Fremont Elementary.
“I see myself as a leader of leaders,” he said. “I see the teachers as leaders and I see the students as leaders of their own learning.”
He recently became the building’s principal after serving as assistant principal at Pine Grove Middle School for the past four years. He also has 10 years of experience as a special education teacher at Pine Grove. He replaces Janice Ahlsen, who has taken a position with the North Syracuse Central School District.
“My professional goal has always been to lead a building,” Hacker said. “I’ve made a natural progression in a district that I think is one of the best around. I’m excited to have the opportunity to contribute to ESM in a new capacity.”
The move to an elementary building takes Hacker back to where he started. His first teaching experience was in the third grade, where he also did his student teaching. In addition, he spent a year at Elmcrest Children’s Center as a counselor working with younger children.
“I originally thought I would be in an elementary setting, but special education was also a passion and I followed that to Pine Grove,” Hacker said. “My middle school experience has taught me what it takes for elementary students to be prepared to transition to the next level. I’m thrilled to be working with the younger population of students again.”
Assuming his role as principal after the start of the school year, Hacker’s first goal is simply to get a sense of the Fremont community — the staff, the parents and the students.
“I want to talk to all the stakeholders and get a feel for the strengths and the direction people would like to see the building move towards,” he said.
A big initiative for all schools this year is the new state-mandated teacher evaluation system. “This new process requires much more communication and collaboration between the teacher and the building leader,” he said. “We will all go down this road together as we transition to this new system.”