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Austintown introduces new administrators

October 10, 2018
The Town Crier

Austintown Local Schools saw some big changes in administration this year. Four new principals joined the team and have settled into their new positions. Community Engagement Specialist Brittany Bueno said it is not a common occurrence.

"Yes, it is a little unusual to have four new principals," she said. "Only one has been with the district so we wanted the community to become familiar with the new principals."

To introduce them to the community, the district decided to put out their bios and let the community know who these qualified individuals are. Their bios are as follows:

Article Photos

Sandra Thorndike, Assistant Principal of Instruction and Continuous Improvement (AES/AIS)

Sandra Thorndike, Assistant Principal of Instruction and Continuous Improvement (AES/AIS), holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and two Master of Science in Education Degrees, one in Special Education and one in Educational Administration. All of her degrees are from Youngstown State University. During the 1999 school year she pursued the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Certification. She has proudly held a National Board Certification for Students with Exceptional needs since the year 2000. Thorndike is also an adjunct faculty member for Notre Dame College of Cleveland where she teaches courses for pre-service educators. She has been a teacher in the Austintown Local Schools since 1991 and has been active in many programs, including the RDE program for gifted students 6-12, which she will continue to oversee as an administrator.

Zachary Barson, freshman principal at Fitch, attended Malone University and earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. While there, he played baseball for four years. Upon graduation, he moved to Florida and became a certified math teacher at Cape Coral High School. He earned a master's degree in educational leadership from American College of Education. He then worked as a teacher and administrative intern at the high school before accepting a position as an assistant principal in the Akron City Schools. Barson is excited to have the opportunity to come to Austintown and affect positive change in the school district and community.

Timothy Pappagallo, Asst. Principal AIS, graduated from Youngstown State University with both a bachelor's and master's degree. His teaching career began in the Warren City School District, where he was an Intervention Specialist for grades five through eight. He also taught in the Maplewood Local School district as an Intervention Specialist, then later moved to fifth grade Math where he taught for 12 years. While in Maplewood he coached girls varsity soccer, junior high track, varsity bowling and academic prep bowl.

Brian Racz, Fitch junior principal, graduated as Valedictorian from AFHS in 1998. Upon graduation, he was accepted into the University Scholars Program at Youngstown State University, where he doubled majored in history and secondary education. Racz was hired at Boardman High School as a social studies teacher in 2003. During his tenure there, he taught primarily world history and AP American government courses, and eventually became chairperson of the social studies department. While teaching, he also advised numerous student groups. Seeking a new challenge, he completed his master's degree in educational leadership at YSU. He is thrilled to be in the building where he once walked as a student.



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