Tricia Wickwire named middle school principal

Bruce VanWheelden will move into a new dual role as district Communications Coordinator and Principal of Bloomingdale Elementary School

Technology communications coordinator and former Spanish teacher Tricia Wickwire has been named principal of Saranac Lake middle school. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake middle school principal Bruce VanWeelden isn’t exactly leaving. The school approved a number of changes in faculty at Wednesday’s meeting, including a change in middle school principal.

Tricia Wickwire, who has served the district since 2005, first as a Spanish teacher and most recently as the technology communications coordinator, has been selected as the new middle school principal.

Wickwire said she is “super excited to have been chosen. I know there were several great candidates.”

VanWeelden will be taking on a dual role as district Communications Coordinator and Principal of Bloomingdale Elementary School.

“The District was seeking to fulfill additional roles that have become necessary over the course of time,” VanWeelden wrote in an email.

“I was excited about the possibility of taking on this new dual role within the district and mutually agreed to take on the challenge,” he wrote. “I look forward to establishing new and deeper connections with the Bloomingdale school community, including students, families and staff. I am enthusiastic about working with an age group that I haven’t worked with much throughout my career. I hope to maintain and expand the strong family atmosphere and sense of community that exists in Bloomingdale.”

VanWeelden said he will aim to build upon “the standard of excellence and collective pride that has been established in Bloomingdale. Most of all, I look forward to meeting the students and learning with them.”

He said he will miss the middle school students.

“The age group is so unique to all others in human development, as early adolescence sets the stage for children to transition into adults. Every day, we have the opportunity to watch caterpillars become butterflies. Each day is a new challenge, a new fad, and a new learning opportunity. Middle School students bring boundless passion and energy to school each day, and with the right direction and motivation, their achievements are almost limitless.

“I have spent 16 years of my career at the Middle School, as a Teacher, Dean of Students, and now as a Principal, so the relationships that I have formed with faculty and staff will be hard to leave behind. Middle School has become like a second home to me. There are far too many things to miss and far too many things to look forward to to list them all, but in education, the relationships always matter most. I look forward to new relationships, and hope to maintain those I’ve established.”

VanWeelden said he is confident Wickwire is up to the challenge. “As administrators, we work throughout the summer and meet routinely for the purpose of planning our upcoming year. I will be spending time with Trish throughout the summer and into the future with specific and immediate items that need to be accomplished as well as to assist her with any items she feels she would like my support or feedback. As a unit, we collectively work together to support each other with the ultimate goal being successful, productive students that are prepared for the world beyond High School.”