Chatham welcomes interim principal at CMS

CHATHAM — Annemarie Barkman as appointed interim principal of Chatham Middle School by the Board of Education in June. Ms. Barkman officially took the reins at CMS July 1, following the retirement of Gordon Fitting at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, according a to a press release on the District’s website.

“I am very happy to be here in Chatham,” Ms. Barkman said. “This is a bountiful area and a beautiful school.”

Ms. Barkman was chosen from several candidates following a process that included interviews with the Board of Education, District administrators and a committee of teachers, staff and parent representatives. Her interim position is for the 2011-2012 school year, while the District conducts a facilities study to determine the feasibility of consolidating its three school buildings into two.

She comes to Chatham with extensive experience as an educator, having worked most recently as Interim Superintendent for the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District.  Her other school administrative experience include Head of School for the Bishop MaGinn High School, Interim Superintendent for Gilboa-Coneville Central School District, and superintendent for Churchville-Chili Central School District and the Holland Central School District.

Ms. Barkman holds a certificate of advanced study in educational administration, as well as a master’s degree in counseling and a bachelor’s degree in human development. She holds NYS certifications as a school district administrator, school administrator and supervisor, as well as in special education and home economics.

In her first few days at Chatham Middle School, Ms. Barkman has been busy preparing for when students return in the fall, familiarizing herself with the faces and places that make up the Middle School.

“I am looking forward to being part of the Chatham Middle School community and hope to use my experience and expertise to make a difference for our students and their families,” added Ms. Barkman.

Joining Ms. Barkman this year at Chatham Middle School is Assistant Principal Karen Bechdol. Mrs. Bechdol has been assistant principal at Chatham High School since 2010, and will now split her time between the two schools as a shared High School/Middle School Principal. Mrs. Bechdol replaces Larry Burud following his retirement in June.

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