Earlier this month we announced that Robert Santarcangelo had been hired as the next Principal of Maple Hill Jr./Sr. High School and he will officially begin his new role in Schodack next week. With summer having only just begun, we checked in with Mr. Santarcangelo so the Schodack CSD community could learn a bit more about him before the next school year starts. If you want to reach out and say hello to Mr. Santarcangelo this summer, we encourage you to do so by emailing him (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to more Schodack students, families and faculty/staff meeting him soon!
Tell us a bit about your background. How did it bring you to Schodack?
I taught Social Studies for just over 10 years and mid-way through that, I became the Teacher Leader of the Social Studies Department. In that role, I oversaw the transition to the new New York State Social Studies standards.
I eventually left the classroom to be an administrator when I became the Dean of Students and then eventually the Assistant Principal at Cohoes High School. Little did I know that all the steps I’ve been taking along the way would lead me here, but I am sure happy it did.
What specifically drew you to the Maple Hill Principal position?
For my entire career so far, I’ve worked in a small, close-knit community, and that is truly what drew me to apply for the Maple Hill Principal position.
The robust curriculum offered, opportunities for student leadership, and innovative ideas that permeate Maple Hill made it an environment I was eager to be a part of. During the interview and hiring process, I was continually impressed with the kind, welcoming atmosphere that I encountered each step of the way. After the first round of interviews, I was hooked, and then even more so as I started meeting and getting to know more of the amazing people here.
You’re starting in the summer, what are some goals before the next school year starts? What about during the first few weeks after everyone returns?
It is certainly going to be a busy summer. My main goal is to learn as much as I can about the inner workings of Maple Hill and acclimate myself to the Schodack community at large. I will be learning a lot during the next couple of months and I’m eager to get going on that front.
In terms of the first few weeks when everyone returns, my main goal is to get to know our students and faculty/staff as much as I can. I’m not a “behind-the-desk” kind of person, so I want to be visible and as much of a presence as I possibly can be when everyone is back.
What’s something about your workstyle you want your new Maple Hill colleagues, the school families and the students to know about you right off the bat?
I’m a firm believer that education is the noblest of professions and I strongly believe that it’s my job to uphold the integrity that comes with being an educator. I am someone who is willing to do whatever is needed to ensure students and employees are cared for and feel supported.
I strive every day to have a positive impact on those around me and wholeheartedly want to improve my own abilities so I can better serve those who have entrusted me to be their principal. I have been given the opportunity to lead Maple Hill and I take that to heart.
Finally, tell us a little bit about life outside of work.
My life outside of school is centered around being a father and husband. My wife, Melissa, and I have two daughters. Althea, who is in first grade and Delilah who is in pre-school. We love spending time outside, working in our vegetable gardens, going on hikes, traveling to visit family and spending as much time together as we can.