Last month we announced that Alyssa Sabbatino had been hired as Schodack’s Director of Teaching & Learning and she has now officially started in her new role with the school district! In the past couple of weeks, Ms. Sabbatino has been busy jumping right into her role and meeting with faculty/staff & school families. We checked in to ask her a few “get to know you” questions so the Schodack school community could learn a little more about not only her but this new position in the district.
Tell us a little about your background and how it brought you to Schodack.
My background originally begins with work as an English teacher and an Instructional Coach. Literacy and Reading Curriculum were a huge part of my life at school during that time period.
I moved from there to Dean and Assistant Principal work, studied a lot of Restorative and Relationship Building strategies and became deeply vested in understanding students, their behavior and needs. This balance of curriculum and instructional work with developmental and social-emotional work is so important to me. It brought me to then work as a district leader for School Improvement in a position that combined both worlds. This led me straight to Schodack, as the position I’ve just begun is rooted in both of those worlds in creating the best curriculum for our Schodack students that we can possibly have.
Director of Teaching & Learning is a new position in Schodack. Can you briefly describe it and what drew you to it?
This position is my dream job! It includes finetuning and developing curriculum alongside teachers, working with faculty through professional development, meeting with students and faculty to learn their needs, and creating a scholastic environment that serves those needs. The role begins with listening to all the stakeholders I can and engaging in so many of the incredible things already happening here, then just learning what else is needed and making it happen.
What do you hope to accomplish in these early weeks/months and what are some of your goals for the rest of the school year?
I’m starting with an entry plan that allows me to meet with all the stakeholder groups that I can so that I’m able to learn what people need and want from me.
My biggest priorities are visibility and connections to all of those stakeholders. I want to be present and part of their lives at school as I learn their needs and priorities. There is certainly work through grants and professional development that I’ve already begun, and it’s very exciting.
What’s something about your workstyle you want your Schodack colleagues and our Schodack families to know?
I value input and communication above all else. Decisions should be rooted in what’s best for the group, with input and feedback from all those involved. I need and want to hear from colleagues and families, I welcome that and it motivates me and will always drive my work.
Finally, tell us a little bit about life outside of work.
My two children, Daniel (10) and Ava (7) are my life outside of school. They are my favorite part of every day. I recently got married, in October, and am enjoying married life. Our family is very into hiking, we hike every week and try to discover new waterfalls all over the Northeast.
Photography and reading are my biggest other interests. Our family has also got into a lot of different board games throughout the Pandemic, which is so much fun. We have a dog, four cats, two hermit crabs, a gecko, and a whole lot of fish. We live in South Colonie and are often down here near Schodack visiting different parks. We love it!