GLENS FALLS — None of the students at Glens Falls Middle School, and few of those at the high school, were born when Chris Reed became the middle school principal.
In fact, some of their teachers weren’t born when he first started as a guidance counselor at the middle school.
His experience, combined with decades of work with the state work with the state Middle School Association, has earned him state middle school educator of the year honors.
At the same time, the school district is advertising to replace him, as Reed has decided to retire at the end of the school year.
“Chris and I had been talking about this, and about a week ago, he let his staff know,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins, who noted he is pleased Reed will stay until the end of the school year.
“I think his honor was well-deserved and I think Chris was humbled by it,” Jenkins said. “I am really glad he has agreed to stay on the for the rest of the year.”
In the slick, one-page advertisement for a new principal, the district shows more than a dozen highlights of what it seeks in a new principal, listing specific aspects of school climate and learning and discussion of the district’s leadership team.
The award Reed received last month in Saratoga Springs was the Ross M. Burkhardt Outstanding Middle Level Educator Award.
“I was blown away. I have been on that committee before, making that choice, and it’s a very coveted, ultimate honor.”
At the time, Reed’s colleagues and staff members did not know he was planning on stepping down after almost 30 years.
“Big picture-wise, what a nice way to end my career. This is an honor,” he said.
“He is Mr. Middle School,” said Reed’s assistant principal, Laurie Parker. “He is very committed to the middle school process, he works hard and he puts a lot of time in. He understands there is a wide range of development among middle school students.”
Reed has developed a positive environment at the school, both among students, teachers and staff.
“Kids first, that’s what it all boils down to,” said Tom Philips, executive director of the middle school group. “He is all about ‘Is this good for the kids? Why are we doing this and how is this good for the kids?’” Philips said. “And the thing people do not know about him is how willing he is willing to share his best practices with other schools.”
Reed became principal in 1999, and the school was named to the New York State Essential Elements: Schools to Watch list in 2009, 2012 and 2015.
He has served as a regional director of the group, editor of the In-Transition Journal and chair of the group’s annual conference.