The Orange Board of Education was busy at work this summer, faced with hiring for three key roles at the district offices and one elementary school principal. In the spring, Director of Special Services Rosie Slowik announced her retirement from her position. Around the same time, Business Manager Mary-Jo Sierekowski, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Marie Acampora, and Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone resigned to pursue other interests.
After a summer of vetting and interviewing candidates, four new hires are ready for the 2019-2020 school year. Jamie Balisciano, the new principal at Peck Place School comes from an assistant principal position at Bridgeport schools.
Christine Koch is the district’s new Business Manager. Former administrative assistant to the First Selectman, Mary Shaw is the new Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools. New Director of Special Services Mary Edo has been transitioned into her new role under former special ed director Rosie Slowik.
“One of the things that was really helpful was that Rosie knew well in advance that she planned to retire and that allowed us to start this process so early, and then when other postings came up, we were that much ahead. We extend a warm retirement to Rosie and a warm welcome to Mrs. Edo,” says Superintendent of Schools Vince Scarpetti.
Mary-Jo Sierakowski took on the roll as business manager five years ago, leading the district through some challenging financial scenarios as the state funding cuts impacted the school district’s budget. “Mary-Jo, I can’t say enough about. She’s connected the bridge between the town and us. She is a diligent worker. The one thing that you want to have in a business manager is trust. You may read some horror stories in other districts and we had that trust from Mary Jo and dedication,” Scarpetti says. “She’s what we look for in all employees. She would come in on weekends, was always accessible to us at any given moment and we want to extend the best to her.”
After 24 years, Board of Education Administrative Assistant Marie Acampora resigned. “Ms. Acampora’s departure is a loss to the district – the amount of historical information that she has is tremendous. I remember sitting down with [Director of Curriculum] Evelyn Russo and telling her I had something important to tell her. She said, ‘Please don’t tell me you’re leaving, Vince,’ and I said, ‘No, someone more important than me is leaving.’ I want to wish her the best in her new position.” Scarpetti says.
“Any success I’ve had is because of the people around me, not because of me and that’s especially true of these three ladies. They have had a huge impact on the success, not only the board, but the kids. I have such gratitude for all three ladies,” he says.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent
Jamie Balisciano, takes over as the new principal at Peck Place School. Jaime comes from an assistant principal position at Bridgeport public schools.