Department chairs on recline

Two department chairs leaving, four positions replaced in two years


Two more department chairs will leave their positions at the end of this school year, meaning four department leaders will have been replaced in the past two years.

English Department Chair Jacob Vallicelli announced his resignation from his position last month. World Language Department Chair Donna Sayler is retiring.

Paul Kolimas and Erica Desaulniers left their department chair spots last year. Kolimas returned to teaching, while Desaulniers left H-F.

Vallicelli says he will step down to return to teaching English classes.

“It has been a privilege to serve the students, staff and community as their English Department Chair for 10 years, and I am very proud of our accomplishments and growth as a department during that time,” he said. “Now, however, I am eagerly anticipating a return to the classroom; teaching has always been the best job in any school.”

Vallicelli’s talents and leadership skills will be missed next year, English teacher Janet Daniels said.

“I think that we all respect him so much that we just want him to be happy,” Daniels said. “We were all sad to hear the news, but hearing that it was his decision and that it was something he needed to do for himself made us supportive.”

Principal Ryan Pitcock says the school needs to work diligently to find a quality replacement for Vallicelli.

“I think Mr. Vallicelli is an excellent educator. Going back to teaching means the school will benefit. While at the same time, it does leave a void,” Pitcock said. “He was a exceptional department chair as well. Someone who also provided outstanding leadership to the department but also to the DC group and the school in general.”

Sayler says she has given the school four years notice of her retirement.

“I will miss working with the people in my department- they are an awesome group of professionals,” Sayler said. “I will miss the students even more.”

Spanish minor and recent grad, Don Hardy says Sayler provided a great Spanish experience for him.

“As a teacher, Mrs. Sayler always pushed me. The Spanish department as a whole was always organized very well,” Hardy said.

Last year, two department chairs, Paul Kolimas (Social Science) and Erica Desaulniers (Fine Arts) stepped down.

Social science teacher Paul Kolimas says leaving his position was the right choice.

“I had done the job for 12 years, which is a long time, and I decided that it was time for me to get back to doing full-time what I got into education to do, which was to teach history and government,” Kolimas said.

Pitcock says it takes a lot to be an effective Department Chair.

ytime there are openings, the challenge is to replace people with those that you believe that are equal or better,” Pitcock said. “I think we’ve brought in really quality educators. We brought in Carl Coates after Paul Kolimas stepped back into the classroom and he’s really taken the Social Science department in a great direction.”