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District News

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339




New principal at Harry Hoag Elementary

New elementary principal offers fresh outlook for Harry Hoag community

Seasoned educator to build on strengths of existing programs

Harry Hoag Elementary School’s new principal wants school to be a place of joy.

Welcome Fred HutchinsonFred Hutchinson, who was appointed principal by the Fort Plain Board of Education on June 4, plans to “infuse joy back into learning” with a variety of fun after-school activities such as monthly movie nights and ice cream socials designed to help bring families together and make the school the center of the community.

Hutchinson hopes that joy will also blossom during the school day. He wants teachers to infuse that fun and energy into their classroom lessons. “I believe we can embrace the Common Core, be successful, and still enjoy the process at the same time.”

His plans also include bringing back the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program (PBIS) the school previously embraced. This approach focuses on encouraging positive behavior rather than solely disciplining the negative. This should enhance the learning and joy that Mr. Hutchinson hopes will flourish at the Harry Hoag Elementary School.

 “We are very fortunate to have Mr. Hutchinson joining us at Fort Plain. His energy will bring a fresh outlook to the school,” said Superintendent Douglas Burton. “He will embellish the strong programs we already have. We’re also very pleased that he has a strong literacy background, which we can draw on as we continue to strengthen our learning opportunities.”

Mr. Hutchinson comes to Harry Hoag from the Peekskill City School District where he had been serving as high school principal. He has also taught English and served as the director of Reading and Gifted and Talented program at Peekskill. Prior to that, he taught reading and English at the Ichabod Crane Central School District. Mr. Hutchinson holds certifications in Literacy and English, School Building Leader, and School District Leader.

Mr. Hutchinson officially started his new post July 1. An active member of his home community, Mr. Hutchinson is looking forward to new opportunities in Fort Plain.

“I have been a board member where I live, a coach, and a volunteer," Hutchinson said. “I look forward to bringing that experience into this community. I want the school to be the ‘cool’ place to be, the place where families come together to learn and have fun.”

Hutchinson lives in the Chatham area with his wife, who teaches elementary school, a son who just graduated high school, his 9-year-old son and his 5-year-old son. He said he looks forward to most of his family being in “elementary school together. I really like this age group," he said.

The district will host a "Meet the principal Night" on July 30 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the HHS gymnasium. Refreshments will be provided.