The Grand Island Central School District Board of Education unanimously appointed John Fitzpatrick principal of Veronica E. Connor Middle School during Monday's school board meeting.
"Our entire board had the opportunity to sit and meet with Mr. Fitzpatrick before unanimously voting on his appointment. We believe he will be a great asset to the middle school and we look forward to his contribution to our educational community," said Lisa Pyc, president of the Board of Education.
An extensive search process began with the review of 55 applicants. Nine were interviewed in the first round by a stakeholder committee that included Grand Island faculty, staff, administrators, students and parents. Three candidates advanced to a second round, which required the completion of a writing sample, a data performance task, an interview with the superintendent and central office administrators, and a student committee interview.
Freshman Chloe McQuestion, president of the 2013-14 VCMS Student Council, was a member of the student interview committee.
"Mr. Fitzpatrick is funny, energetic and down to earth. He knows how to work with students," she said.
VCMS teachers Sue Campbell and Vince Zaleski were also on the search committee and stated, "John is an impressive instructional leader and has the feel for what middle school students are all about. He will be an excellent fit for Grand Island."
Dr. Teresa Lawrence, superintendent of Grand Island Central School District, concluded the search with a site visit to Edward Town Middle School where Fitzpatrick currently serves as assistant principal.
"We are pleased to welcome John to our district. He is a veteran middle school teacher and administrator bringing 18 years of experience to our middle school students. The search committee was highly impressed with his communication skills and expertise," said Lawrence. "I am grateful for the time, effort and cooperation put forth by the search committee members throughout this extensive process, and for the leadership of Eleanor Payne and Cheryl Cardone during this time of transition."
Fitzpatrick has served as assistant principal since 2007 and as interim assistant principal since 2005 in Edward Town Middle School for the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District. Prior to his administrative duties, Fitzpatrick held a teaching role at both the Edward Town Middle School and Niagara-Wheatfield Senior High School.
Fitzpatrick holds a master's degree in educational administration from the University at Buffalo and a master's degree in earth science from Buffalo State College.
"I'm very eager to join the middle school team and the district," Fitzgerald said. "I have high regards for the students, faculty, staff, parents and community of Grand Island. I can't wait to get started working together with this outstanding team."
Fitzpatrick will begin his service to the district Oct. 27.