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New assistant principal feels right at home

 Assistant Principal John Seifts sits at his desk on Dec. 9.

As an Adirondack native, Assistant Principal John Seifts feels right at home working in the Poland Central School District.


Seifts is originally from Lake Pleasant, which is a small community like Poland. He is enjoying the opportunity to be a building administrator that supports students and staff in grades Pre-K - 12.


“I think education is the most important thing we can do for our kids and our society as a whole,” Seifts said.


Seifts started at Poland on Aug. 29 after serving in a variety of roles in education. He has teaching and administrative experience in the Rome City School District. He taught world history at Mohawk Valley Community College and served as the principal/coordinator for the Madison-Oneida BOCES Summer School in Verona.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Geneseo. He went on to earn a master’s degree in literacy from SUNY Cortland as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in District and Building Leadership. He has professional teaching certifications in Social Studies 7-12, Social Studies 5-9 and Literacy 5-12.


Seifts jumped right into being a part of the school community as he helped with the district’s Veterans Day ceremony. 


“I believe strongly in supporting veterans and their work,” Seifts said.


His efforts have not stopped there. Seifts has been a regular at games, events, concerts and “Prepared, Productive and Proud” assemblies, where students are recognized for positive achievements.


"Mr. Seifts has made a fluid transition to our building. In a short time, he has learned a remarkable number of student names, has taken special interest in district programs and activities, and has fully integrated himself in department and team meetings,” Superintendent Laura Dutton said.


“His appreciation for our region and the Adirondack Park are value-added characteristics that have facilitated his ability to make connections with others,” Dutton continued.


“John has really embraced his role as part of the administrative team. He has taken initiative from the start to try and learn about the climate of the different grade levels,” PreK-12 Principal Gregory Cuthbertson said.


As he supports teachers and students, Seifts said his goal is to learn each student’s needs and to meet those needs. 


“He has asked questions and sought out feedback to improve his professional practice. I am looking forward to having him take on more responsibilities with curriculum development and improving our building procedures,” Cuthbertson said.


“I feel very welcome and at home here as an administrator,” Seifts said.