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Salem Elementary School principal departs abruptly mid-year

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Mark Fish


SALEM — Salem Elementary School is looking for a new leader after its principal resigned after just six months on the job.

Superintendent of Schools Julie Adams posted a notice on the district’s website on Jan. 17 that Karen Jones submitted her letter of resignation.

Adams did not provide a reason for Jones’ departure.

Jones was appointed in May and started in July. Her previous experience includes serving as principal of Fort Edward’s elementary school principal from 2016 until that position was eliminated in 2020 as part of a budget cut. She also has served as a teacher in the Waterford-Halfmoon Central School District.

Jones could not be reached for comment.

In a subsequent email on Jan. 19, Adams said that Mark Fish, who retired as superintendent of the Greenwich Central School District in 2022 after an eight-year tenure, will serve as interim elementary principal. Before he went to Greenwich, Fish was principal of Oliver W. Winch Middle School in South Glens Falls. In 2010, he was named as New York State Middle School Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal.

Salem schools have had some turnover.

Both the elementary and junior-senior high school buildings now have interim leaders. Damain Switzer, former Queensbury High School principal, is interim principal at the junior-senior high school. He replaced Adams, who was promoted to superintendent.

Adams served as junior-senior high school principal for 2 ½ years before getting the job as superintendent. She replaced David Glover, who the Board of Education reached an agreement to part ways with in July 2021 after seven years at the helm.

The Board of Education in May voted to offer the junior-senior high school principal position to William Clooney, according to the May 25 minutes. However, Clooney never came to the district. Switzer has filled the role.

Before Jones’ appointment, the elementary principal went through Shelette Pleat from 2016 to 2017; Sharon Varney, 2017-2018; David Eagle (interim), 2018-2019; Karen Vieira, 2019-2021; and Patrick Cronin, (interim) 2021-2022.

Adams did not return an email or voicemail seeking comment on Tuesday.

Michael Goot is night and weekend editor of The Post-Star. Reach him at 518-742-3320.


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