SPECULATOR -- Assistant Principal Heather Philo will be the new superintendent for Lake Pleasant Central School District as of Aug. 30.
She will replace Ernest Virgil, who will retire at the end of August after 43 years with the school district.
The Board of Education set a goal of finding a candidate with the necessary educational qualifications and commitment to student achievement who also "embraced the lifestyle of our small Adirondack community.” It received dozens of applications for the post, and narrowed the field to two finalists before selecting Philo as the district's new chief administrator Wednesday, May 14.
Philo has spent nearly her entire career as an educator in LPCS after two years as a teaching assistant at Northville Central School. “I grew up nearby in Edinburg and feel a strong connection with the Adirondacks and Lake Pleasant students and staff,” she says.
Philo notes the close-knit collaboration within the small community school as the strength of its educational program. She mentioned the success of the town’s recent Community Pride Day, in which the school participated, and the “tremendous” turnout for various community fundraisers as evidence of the close connections between the school and the community.
“Everyone supports everyone else here,” Philo said. “Our students graduate with a strong sense of community, of giving back and caring for those around them, as well as with a well-rounded education. I want to continue that focus while we help our students build successful career pathways.”
Philo served in the district as the pre-kindergarten and library teacher for 10 years before adding assistant principal to her duties several years ago.
“I assist the superintendent in all capacities throughout the school,” Philo said. Her experience includes staff development and evaluation, budgeting, student discipline, data-driven instruction, testing coordination, grant writing and event planning.
Philo, 42, earned her School District Leader certification from Canisius College in Buffalo. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minn., and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Goddard College in Montpelier, Vt.
She and her husband live in Gloversville but will be shopping for a home in LPCSD this summer. He is a corrections officer in Johnstown who runs an Amateur Athletic Union basketball program for seventh-graders.
They have four children: two grown, one in seventh grade and one who will start Pre-K at LPCS in the fall.