LaManna, left, and Sickles
Highland Elementary School welcomes new Assistant Principal Kathleen Sickles
HIGHLAND (September 27) - Kathleen Sickles has been Assistant Principal at Highland Elementary School (HES) for only a few weeks, but she already feels like part of the fabric of the school community, thanks to a warm welcome from staff and students alike. She was hired over the summer to replace longtime Highland educator Rosann LaManna, who retired at the end of last school year.
“The kids are already greeting me with big smiles,” said Sickles. “It’s so great.”
Sickles comes to Highland with 12 years of experience in teaching and educational leadership. She most recently worked at St. Joseph School in Kingston for two years as Assistant Principal and, concurrently, a Grade 3 teacher. She began her job at HES on August 26 and “hit the ground running” on the first day of school just over a week later.
Despite the big change involved in coming from a school of about 250 students to one of more than 800 students, Sickles called her transition “pretty seamless.” Even moving from a parochial school to a public one hasn’t been a major change because, Sickles said, the same values of friendship, anti-bullying, and avoidance of conflict are taught every day at HES through the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) program.
Sickles says that the “vibrant” PBIS team at HES is just one of the aspects of her new job that she is eagerly anticipating. She also hopes to continue building a strong bond between the school and the community, with both sides sharing their many talents and skills.
Sickles has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Her desire to work in the world of education came about unexpectedly when her oldest child started preschool.
“That was my a-ha moment when I said, ‘I have to be part of this’,” she said.