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Farewell to a ‘fantastic’ school principal


I retired in 2012 after teaching for 33 years. During those years, I have had the pleasure of working with many talented and dedicated professionals. One of the most capable principals that I’ve known will exit the Carthage Central School District after June. Ms. Staci Kline will leave Black River Elementary a better, but sadder place.

Years ago, in my personal college education, a professor gave me three “F’s.” These same letters represent Ms. Kline. The first “f” is for “firm.” She set goals for herself and staff members that were realistic and attainable. Ms. Kline expected no less than the “best” from the students and staff. Furthermore, she would be very straightforward with parents when she believed that a student’s best learning environment was, or was not, being met.

The second-f is for “fair.” In the school community, especially when state and federal regulations forget the word “fair,” Ms. Kline went out of her way to be fair in her dealings with students, parents, and staff. Ms. Kline may not have agreed with you, but you could always count on her listening to your concerns.

The final-f is the biggest, “friendly.” Ms. Kline was by far the “friendliest” principal that I have seen with the students in our school. From “day one” in Black River, she arrived with a smile on her face. Ms. Kline had a way of making students feel that she knew each and every one of them personally. Her way of speaking to assemblies was a combination of humor and control. She always started the assemblies with the children reviewing what she expected of each and every one of them. This again helped the students understand that they were responsible for their behavior.

As a member of the larger Black River community, I will miss her support for the external events happening in the surrounding community. Ms. Kline was always helpful with organizations that made use of the school facilities.

In conclusion, these three “F’s” add up to a “Fantastic” educator! Ms. Kline, it has been a pleasure teaching for my last few years with your support and guidance. Even at my age, I was able to learn more from the events and materials you shared at our staff meetings. Your humor and sense of fairness made these years special. Thank you, keep playing those instruments, and good luck in your future years!

Patrick K. Hunt

Black River

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