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Mr. Adipietro to Retire July 2024

Mr. A’s announcement to the community about his retirement.

Last spring, Mr. A, the beloved HHS principal of 15 years, announced his retirement. In order to give the school district enough time to find a replacement, Mr. A is serving as the Interim Principal until July 1, 2024. 

When explaining his choice to retire, Mr. A stated that he has “been thinking about this very decision probably for the last two to three years. COVID was very tough and the whole climate of education [is difficult].” He went on to say that last year he “seriously thought about it and made a decision that it wasn’t time for the district and [himself] to part ways…but this year [he] got that feeling again, that maybe it’s time to pursue some other options and career paths.”

When considering his past 19 years at HHS (about three and a half years as Assistant Principal and 15 and a half as Principal), Mr. A stressed how important the district has become to his family: “My two sons graduated from here and my wife works in the district. This is a special place for us.  I don’t just don’t see myself walking away, but it’s going to feel different, not being the principal, not being engaged with kids.”

Mr. A mentioned that highlights from his time at HHS include watching his sons graduate, the school winning a Blue Ribbon in 2017, and building relationships with students and faculty. 

The process to find a new principal is underway. The district posted the job in early autumn on OLAS, among other education job-search websites. The district is also running ads in The New York Times and Education Week.

Applications close on December 6, after which a group of administrators, known as the Building Leadership Team, will review the applications. Dr. McKersie will talk to focus groups of students, parents, and teachers to identify desired qualities in possible candidates. The Advisory Board will also include students, teachers, faculty, parents, and administrators tasked with creating interview questions.

When school resumes after Winter Break, the district Advisory Committee will interview about four “semi-finalists,” before making their recommendation for who to hire, Hastings Superintendent Dr. William McKersie explained in an interview. Dr. McKersie is ultimately the one who decides which candidate to present to the Board of Education, the group that has the final say on who to hire. It is Dr. McKersie’s hope that the new principal will be announced in early February.

When asked about traits she would most like to see in a new principal, Ms. Melissa Hardesty, the HHS Assistant Principal, referenced the “need to understand high schoolers,” compassion, “strong instructional knowledge,” and a sense of humor. Additionally, Dr. McKersie said that he’s looking for “someone with a proven record of focusing on the total development of students,” including intellectual, social, and emotional wellbeing, and “experience at collaborating with teachers, administrators and parents.” He also mentioned the importance of candidates with “expertise in special ed and issues of equity and social justice.”

Reflecting on the past 15 years working with Mr. A, Ms. Hardesty spoke of the good memories they share: “We always say we’re going to write a book.”

Ms. Hardesty is “absolutely devastated” that Mr. A is leaving, saying, “he is not going to be easily replacedI don’t think he can ever be replaced.” She added that Mr. A has “devoted his whole life and career to the community, and he’s going to be sorely missed by a lot of people. Me number one.”

As for how Mr. A feels knowing this is his last year at HHS, he spoke of how “there are days that feel the same…and then there are days, where I think, ‘wow, this is it.’” But he was quick to remark that HHS isn’t quite rid of him yet, as he plans on attending sports games and other events, even after retiring.

When asked if he has a message to HHS students moving forward, Mr. A responded, “Continue to be who you are, and be honest and true to yourselves and true to everyone else here.”

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About the Contributor
Frieda Belasco, Managing Editor
Currently a junior at Hastings High School, Frieda has been writing for "The Buzzer" for three years and a Managing Editor for two. Journalism has always been a part of Frieda's life, and she's been looking forward to writing for "The Buzzer" since 6th grade. When she's not stressing about schoolwork, you can find her reading historical fiction novels, exploring cafes with her friends, or listening to music.

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