When Lenape Elementary School students arrive for the first day of school this September, they will be greeted by a new principal: Sean Inglee, who was appointed by the New Paltz Board of Education at its August 7 meeting.
Inglee, who took the helm at Lenape on August 12, comes to New Paltz from Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Schenectady, where he served as principal for eight years.
At Lenape, Inglee will be the instructional leader for approximately 420 students and 70 staff members. He aims to build on the school’s existing strengths, which he says include a strong sense of community. “There’s a commitment to putting students first, to putting resources in place that will affect the students in a positive way,” he says.
The school district’s dedication to ensuring inclusiveness and equity is another strength, says Inglee, who believes that his own strengths in this area will complement the district’s. “I’ve had a lot of professional development and training around equity,” he says, “as well as training in trauma sensitivity.”
One initiative that Inglee hopes to introduce to Lenape is the introduction of a sensory room. “In a sensory room environment, trained adults help teach children strategies and skills that will help them learn how to keep themselves grounded during stressful situations,” he explains. “Children who may be anxious, angry, frightened or stressed, for example, would learn how to de-escalate themselves, using tools like counting, deep-breathing techniques, or manipulatives,” he says.
Inglee, whose résumé includes stints as a principal, an assistant principal and a fifth and sixth grade teacher, was born and raised in Westville, NY (near the Canadian border). After graduating from a high school located on an Indian reservation, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Plattsburgh State University and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from George Mason University.
Although he currently lives in the Albany area with his wife and three children (two in college and one in high school), he plans to relocate to the New Paltz area.
Superintendent Maria Rice is pleased to be welcoming Inglee to the district’s educational team. “I believe that Mr. Inglee’s experience, as well as his passion for helping every child reach their full potential, will be a real asset to our Lenape students, parents, staff members and community,” she says.