Stamford School Appoints New Principal
STAMFORD, Vt. — Stamford School appointed Randy Lichtenwalner as principal for the 2021-22 school year.
Lichtenwalner, who comes with over a decade of experience as a school principal in Westchester County, N.Y., began July 1.
School Board Chair Erika Bailey and Windham Southwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Barbara Anne Komons-Montroll announced his appointment to the community in June and hosted an open house to meet the new principal.
Lichtenwalner, or "Mr. L," does have roots in Southern Vermont. His family purchased a vacation home in Newfane while his son attended Landmark College in Putney. He and husband Jeff Seabaugh, who was recently appointed administrative director of the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro, will now make it their year-round residence.
Lichtenwalner began his career in education after a short career in arts management, primarily working at not-for-profit off-Broadway theaters in New York City. He transitioned to teaching through the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, where he began teaching at P.S. 161 Don Pedro Albizu Campos School in New York City's West Harlem neighborhood, where he taught sixth and fourth grade and later became a literacy coach, working alongside teachers to help improve literacy instruction.
A move outside the city to begin a family prompted him to seek work closer to home, and he became the elementary ELA/math curriculum and staff developer for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns in Sleepy Hollow, where he later became assistant principal of the Washington Irving Intermediate School (Grades 3-5) within the district. His first principalship was in the neighboring community of Irvington at Dows Lane Elementary School, the K-3 school in the Irvington School District. He later worked as principal of Pound Ridge Elementary School (Grades K-5) in the Bedford Central School District, and Hillcrest Elementary (Grades 4-5) in the Peekskill City School District.
Having worked at low-income urban schools and affluent suburban schools, this is Lichtenwalner's first principalship of a rural school with a small enrollment: the Stamford School total enrollment ranges from about 70 to 80 students, where Lichtenwalner's previous schools ranged in size from 270 to 540 students.
"My first taste of what rural school life in Vermont would be like came during an interview early on in the search process, when they asked if I would be willing to help shovel snow off of the roof," he said. "And of course, I immediately said, 'yes anything for the kids,' but I had to quickly follow up and admit that I didn't have extensive training in that area and may require some professional development. But I'm a lifelong learner, eager to learn and try new things."
In addition to working as a teacher and school administrator, he has was a Fellow Advisor for the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, and has taught courses in education at Mercy College and Pace University.
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