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Saugerties Names New Director of Curriculum and Instruction

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Saugerties Names New Director of Curriculum and Instruction 

The Saugerties Central School District has named Gwendolyn Roraback as their new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Roraback, who has worked in education for more than 22 years, will be responsible for K-12 curriculum and instruction with a specific focus on developing a K-12 literacy philosophy, ensuring that curriculum is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, implementing an instructional coaching program, and helping create a culture of learning for all. 

Roraback comes to Saugerties with 13 years of educational leadership experience from Ulster BOCES, where she was Director of Instructional Services for and also served as the Director of the Mid-Hudson Leadership Institute. She also worked as a teacher for both the Poughkeepsie and Kingston City School Districts.

Superintendent of Schools Kirk Reinhardt said, “We are excited to have Ms. Roraback become part of our administrative team. She brings a strong skill set of curriculum and instructional knowledge, proven leadership ability, and an unwavering commitment to serving all students.” 

Roraback said the pandemic tested education like it's never been tested before. She said that one takeaway is that children are more resilient than we think. “Students learned a lot during COVID-19, and it’s important to acknowledge their many roles within a household,” she declared. “Some of them were caretakers of younger siblings and not only had to juggle their own school work but had to help their siblings with their school work as well, some had to learn how to be patient because parents were also working from home, and some had to learn how to manage themselves all by themselves.”  

One of Roraback’s first goals is to get to know the District better. First up on Roraback’s agenda is to go on a listening tour with principals, teachers, and students at each building. 

“There is a long-standing history of respect with Saugerties,” Roraback observed. “It has a strong culture of community, and the administrative team is balanced between expertise and communication styles.”

Roraback will succeed Dr. Darlene Westinghouse, who is set to retire on August 31, following a 23-year career in education, including the last 3.5 years in her current role with Saugerties. 

Roraback and her husband, Ryan, have two school-aged children that reside in Highland. The Highland resident is currently working towards her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Manhattanville College. Her dissertation is a qualitative study about Elementary Principals' Perceptions of Stress and Resilience during COVID-19 and the Effect on Their Personal and Professional Lives.