By Jeanne Sager
GRAHAMSVILLE October 7, 2003 Nancy George truly loves her job.
The new superintendent of the Tri-Valley Central School district has paid her dues she started out almost 30 years ago as a reading and special education teacher in the elementary school and worked her way up.
She moved on from reading coordinator for k-12 to elementary principal.
Last year she was named superintendent with the retirement announcement of longtime administrator George Vanderzell. And she couldnt be happier.
Im loving it! she said. Its a wonderful school district to work in.
Located in the heart of Grahamsville, Tri-Valley is truly the focal point of the community, George continued.
That can only make an administrators job easier.
Its important to get feedback from the community, George explained. Certainly our focus has to be education, but its not just about academics.
We talk about the whole child here.
The district is currently undergoing a building project that will enable the staff to further enhance their offerings for the first time since Tri-Valley opened, they will have an auditorium.
New classrooms are also being opened up something the district has planned to keep its pledge of small class sizes.
George has a lot of ideas for the district, but her emphasis is on growth, using the ideas of her predecessor to make Tri-Valley students successful.
George Vanderzell had some great visions, she noted. He laid that foundation.
Georges own visions come from her 30 years in education and her background in the community.
Born in Kerhonkson, George left the area to attend Ashland University in Ohio. But she returned after four years at school to begin teaching right near home at Tri-Valley.
While teaching, she went back to SUNY New Paltz to obtain a masters degree in special education, as well as her administrative degree.
George and her late husband have two children, Amy and Paul, who attended Tri-Valley and have since graduated.
She lives in the school district, which has a rural feel that George loves.
Being in education is a special thing, she said.
Watching students grow, she noted, theres no better feeling.
It was an exemplary teacher back in second grade that put George on her path, and shes never looked back.
Each day is interesting and exciting, she said. I thought that was true as a building administrator, but this has new challenges.
Every day I learn something new, George continued. And one of our goals is to make lifelong learners.
The staff here certainly sets a good example of that, she continued. We have a wonderful staff, and that makes my job as administrator more enjoyable.
George hopes to work with the staff, the board of education and the community to provide more options for the students at Tri-Valley, working off of initiatives started by Vanderzell.
She hopes to see the list of college and life preparatory classes provided to secondary school students grow, and she sees great things for the future of distance learning.
Because Tri-Valley is a small district, they dont have the resources to hire staff with certain specialties, but distance learning has opened the doors for the Grahamsville kids.
What we can provide will be phenomenal, she added.