SSCS gets "new" principal

By Patsy Nicosia

After 18 years as principal at Sharon Springs Central School, a job he’d held jointly with that of superintendent since 2007, Pat Green passed the job to 16-year classroom veteran Tom Yorke Monday. Mr. Yorke, an English teacher at SSCS since 2003, will officially begin his principal duties on July 1. Mr. Green remains superintendent. His resignation as principal—effective June 30—is a way to help the district move towards his planned 2020 retirement. SSCS combined the superintendent’s and principal’s jobs in ’07, a tough budget year. Voters approved adding the position back when they approved the 2019-20 budget in May. Both Mr. Green and Mr. Yorke said that they’d been boxing up their rooms and offices in anticipation of the changes and Mr. Green presented Mr. Yorke with a book he’d uncovered in his cleaning: “What Principals Do When No One is Looking,” a gift from kindergartners when he became principal. Jen Field, a fellow SSCS English teacher and union president, said she’ll miss working with Mr. Yorke as a colleague. “We will miss having him on the staff as a teacher, but look forward to having him as principal,” she said. For his part, Mr. Yorke said he knows he’ll miss teaching, but plans to keep a hand in the classroom. “When I was interning, one of the things students told me was how much they liked it when Pat came by their classroom, not for evaluations, but just to be a part of it,” Mr. Yorke said. “I know I’ll miss teaching tremendously, but that’s definitely something I’ll continue. I hope I can continue Pat’s legacy…of putting students first in every decision I make.” Mr. Green joined SSCS from Cobleskill-Richmondville, where he’d served as an assistant principal since 1997, in April 2001. He became principal and acting superintendent at SSCS in 2006 and then superintendent and building principal in 2007. Prior to his administrative jobs, Mr. Green was a social studies teacher at Middleburgh Central School from 1988-1997.  

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