Last week we announced that Jason Breh had been hired as the new Principal of Maple Hill Jr./Sr. High School and now he has officially started in his new role in Schodack! Mr. Breh has hit the ground running, meeting staff and familiarizing himself with Maple Hill to get it ready for the 2022-2023 School Year. We checked in to ask him a few “get to know you” questions so that Schodack families could learn a little more about him before students return in September.
Tell us about your background and how it brought you to Schodack.
I started my education career as a high school Visual Arts teacher in Bennington, Vermont, and then Berlin, New York. In 2010, I became the Berlin Middle School Principal and a few years later continued my administrative career at Albany High School and then Mont Pleasant Middle School in Schenectady.
I have a mix of experience at small and large rural schools as well as small city schools. I first learned about Schodack in 2010 when I started my administrative career. I remember attending CASDA (Capital Area School Development Association) and Questar III BOCES Principals’ meetings and hearing about all the great things Schodack was doing and my curiosity stayed with me since 2010.
What specifically drew you to apply for the Maple Hill Principal position?
When I saw this position posted, I jumped at the chance to apply! It’s the best of both worlds – helping our newest middle school students transition to a new experience in a new building while helping all students achieve their goals as they get closer to graduation. Having grown up in Oppenheim, New York, I learned to appreciate our close community and the Maple Hill/Schodack community seems exactly the same way. The pride for the community that I could see in the faces and hear in the voices of those on my interview committees was amazing.
Since you’re starting in the summer, what are some of your goals before school starts? What about during the first few weeks of the new school year?
My overall entry plan consists of listening and learning about our school so I can better understand Maple Hill’s areas of strength and growth. My immediate goal is to learn the most I can before all the students, faculty, and staff return in September.
I’m currently reviewing our building-wide safety plan and emergency procedures as well as disciplinary systems and course curricula. The rest of my summer consists of planning summer activities with Assistant Principal Brochu and setting up dates and times for stakeholders to stop by the school, chat, and teach me more about Maple Hill. Once school starts in September, I’ll be actively meeting with the students & faculty/staff, making sure I’m very visible in the halls and ensuring I’m accessible to whoever needs me.
What’s something about your workstyle you want your colleagues and Maple Hill families to know right off the bat?
I believe that achieving balance is important. High expectations paired with high support is essential. If I’m going to ask someone to do something, I make sure I give them the tools to do it well. It’s a simple, yet important work style that’s served me well ever since I started teaching in 2001. A good sense of humor also helps.
Finally, tell us a little bit about life outside of work.
My wife, Kristen, and my daughters, Cassidy (17), Sophie (11), and Riordan (9) are my world outside of work. We live in Brunswick and when I’m not at school, I’m usually working on and around the house. I love being outside and hope to start kayaking soon.