Top Stories 2012: Faces Change In Peekskill Schools

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Fred Hutchinson became the new principal of Peekskill High School this summer. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. — The year 2012 was a year of change in the Peekskill City School District.

When Peekskill High School principal Sherrill Murray-Lazarus stepped down at the end of the 2011-12 school year, Fred Hutchinson was appointed to replace her. 

Hutchinson was director of reading and gifted for the district. He was appointed to that position in spring 2011 after an assignment as an English and reading teacher at the high school.

Before Peekskill, Hutchinson served as a school improvement specialist at the Eastern New York Regional School Support Center and previously taught English in the Cairo-Durham School District.

Another administrative change in the Peekskill district came in November when Maxine O'Connor was promoted to assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services.

O’Connor has been with the district since 2006 and spent more than 35 years working in educational settings. She has held positions as a special education teacher, an elementary school principal and a college adjunct professor. Her former title was director of pupil personnel services.

The district also said goodbye to several longtime employees.

Peekskill Middle School teachers Sue Mahoney, Sue Buchanan and John Cooley; Peekskill High School teacher's aide Margaret Conklin and teacher Matilda Zeoli; as well as district secretaries Judy Secord, Diane Eckert and Elaine Mule retired at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

Supervisor of Special Education Alice MacLennan was also honored before she, too, retired from the district.

The Peekskill Board of Education also saw changes in its ranks, as Colin Smith and Lisa Aspinal-Kellawon replaced Marcella Bobe and the Fran Feuerman in May's trustee election. Aspinall Kellawon was named a winner after an error was found in initial election results.

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