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New Principals Team Up on Elementary Education

New elementary school principals Michael Sickels and Joseph Colangelo are already sharing ideas and collaborating as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

The new school year begins in just one month and new elementary school principals Michael Sickels and Joseph Colangelo are spending the summer preparing to take the helm at their respective schools.

The two are working together, collaborating to bring alignment between and . Both agree that the students in this district deserve the same educational experience.

Sickels, who will be principal at Euclid, and Colangelo at Lincoln may be new to their positions but neither is new to the school district.

Sickels has been teaching in this district since 1999 and began his career in the very same building he will now lead as principal.

A former Marine, he taught fifth grade at Euclid for the first four years and was later moved up to the middle school to teach math after returning from deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

When he returned earlier this year from his most recent deployment as a member of the Marine Corps Reserves, he came back to Euclid School as a third grade teacher. Sickels says he’s back for good. He is no longer an active member with the Marine Corps Reserves.

Colangelo, who also began his teaching career in Heights, says he is glad to be back.

He began teaching at the middle school in 2003 and  moved up to the high school five years later. At the beginning of 2011, Colangelo left the district to take on an administrative position as athletic director in Elmwood Park. 

Colangelo says it was a difficult decision to leave Hasbrouck Heights, which is also his hometown, but it was the right move for his family at the time. He calls his time in Elmwood Park a valuable experience and it’s helped prepare him for his new position as Lincoln School principal.

In just a matter of a few weeks, the two have already collaborated in the hiring of new teachers for both schools. They have begun working with the schools’ PTAs to create some unity between the two parent groups.

Their jobs are to be principals of their own school but they come together as the elementary school administrative team. One example is the school’s supply list which they collaborated on to make one unified list, setting some of the same standards for both schools, Colangelo said.

Correspondence involving elementary education will include both their signatures.

They plan to always support each other’s efforts. Sickels says both will be at the Euclid and Lincoln school open house events later this month.

The collaboration definitely goes vertical but it also goes horizontal too, says Sickels.  He and Colangelo are already working closely with the middle and high school principals, special education direction and superintendent.

Their working relationship did not just begin this July, it’s developed over the years as they were both in graduate school together.

Colangelo says as new principals they will face new things and challenges and they have each other’s support.

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