MS Principal Hired, Teachers Receive Tenure

Jeff EvenerJeff EvenerThe Board Of Education voted unanimously Monday to appoint Jeffery Evener as Lansing Middle School Principal, replacing retiring Principal Jamie Thomas.  The board also unanimously voted to approve tenure for Kyle Rizzo, Brittany Novitzki and Lindsay Kacapyr before taking a break in the meeting for a celebration with cake and punch.

Jeffery Evener (Probationary Appointment as Middle School Principal in the High School Tenure Area)
"We had a little fewer than 50 people involved in the hiring process," Superintendent Chris Pettograsso told Evener.  "To have consensus amongst all of them including parents, administrators, students... it was pretty amazing.  It was an easy decision.  We are very excited to have you joining our team.  I know you're excited as well.  When you came in and spoke we pretty much knew.  I was so excited.  We started talking that very same night and connecting.  Welcome to Lansing."

Evener is currently the Groton Middle School Principal and Athletic Director for Groton Schools, as well as Mayor of the Village of Groton.  He begins in Lansing on July 29th, and will be considered for tenure after a probationary period that ends July 28, 2017.

Superintendent Chris Pettograsso, Elementary Art Teacher Brittany Novitzki, high School Science Teacher Kyle Rizzo, Middle School Principal Jeff EvenerSuperintendent Chris Pettograsso, Elementary Art Teacher Brittany Novitzki, High School Science Teacher Kyle Rizzo, Middle School Principal Jeff Evener


Kyle RizzoKyle RizzoKyle Rizzo (Science Tenure Area 7-12)
"What I can speak to is how well he relates to all students," said High School Principal Colleen Ledley.  "He connects and engages students.  And I would say there is a huge range.  He is well organized, which I would say is 80% of management and structure and all of that.  He starts every lesson with a review of the day before.  He checks for understanding.  He is working on infusing literacy strategies into his classroom. 

"In addition to the educational and classroom pieces he coached modified baseball for three years.  He coached JV basketball last year.  Also, outside of the classroom he works with Cornell and brings in  amazing material to our biology classrooms.  There is a lot of enrichment that goes on in his classroom as well."

Brittany NovitzkiBrittany NovitzkiBrittany Novitzki Art Tenure Area
"Writing a tenure recommendation for Brittany was an honor," Elementary School Principal Christine Rebera told the School Board.  "I am thrilled to have such a strong teacher in our building.  She brings an excellent amount of rigor and a deep understanding of her content area, creating young artists.  Every grade, every class, every single student in our school comes to her classroom.  Not only does she work with them to grow as artists, but also as people.  She gives opportunities to express themselves and beautifully coordinates our art show every single year, which graces the halls of our building.  Everyone in the whole community gets to enjoy that.  In addition Brittany serves on our high tech committee.  She brings technology not only into her classroom, but also to the entire building, coming up with different wasy people can use technology to enhance their teaching, learning, and functioning as staff members in the school.

"She also co-facilitates our Sunshine Committee, which gives celebration and a little sunshine where needed for staff and faculty members in our building.  It's a very important committee responsibility.  She takes it very seriously.  She participates in every major event from doing the fourth grade slideshow presentation for fourth grade 'moving on' to anything we coordinate so everyone can be part of the school.  We are thrilled to have you as an esteemed member of our faculty and we look forward to many years of working with you."

Lindsay Kacapyr (Remedial Speech Tenure Area)
"I am so happy to recommend Lindsay Kacapyr for tenure," said Rebera.  "She has been a tremendous addition to our faculty!  We are very fortunate that Lindsay is part of our Lansing community. Lindsay continuously demonstrates excellent teaching skills as she works with students in a variety of settings.  She individualizes her work to meet students' needs in the area of speech and language, setting clear goals and expectations that the students are motivated to reach!  Lindsay not only contributes to the students who receive speech and language interventions and therapies, but to the whole school.  She participates on committees (working specifically to implement interventions in the classroom through Response to Intervention), assists colleagues with technology, always seeks opportunities to learn and grow and is happy every day.  Lindsay's enthusiasm has a positive impact on all of us here at R.C. Buckley, and we look forward to continuing to work with her."


"I've had the opportunity to observe all three teachers," said Pettograsso.  "It was amazing to be in the classrooms.  I certainly learned a lot when I went to science -- words I couldn't say myself!  And certainly when I go to Brittany's class I often forget that I am doing an observation.  The whole structure is really engaging."

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