Albion school superintendent doing double-duty as high school principal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2019 at 4:43 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Michael Bonnewell greets students after the final school bell today at about 2:20 p.m. Bonnewell is filling in as principal while the district looks to hire an interim for the remainder of the school year.

ALBION – The school district’s superintendent is spending the school days out of the district office and at the high school as the principal.

Michael Bonnewell has been serving as principal since Jan. 14. Matthew Peterson left Albion to start as principal at Oakfield-Alabama Central School. That school is closer to Peterson’s home.

Albion is looking to hire an interim principal for the rest of the school year with a new permanent replacement to start in July. The search for the next permanent principal will start in March.

Until then, Bonnewell is doing two demanding jobs. He said he enjoys being in the school with the 550 students in grades 9 through 12. He high-fived many of them when they headed out of school today after the final bell of the day at 2:20 p.m.

“I love being with the kids,” he said today.

He usually stops by the district office before getting the high school around 7 a.m. He is back at the district office at 3, and often works late into the evening.

Bonnewell also is available throughout the day when he in the principal’s role if there is an issue for him to handle as superintendent.

He might be doing the two jobs for a while. The potential interim candidates for principal are retired and many are spending the winter in Florida or don’t want to return to full-time work.

Bonnewell said the district isn’t rushing to have an interim principal in place.

“We have to have the right person who is appropriate and beneficial to our school,” he said. “The principal needs to support kids and teachers and make sure the building operates as a benefit to kids.”

Bonnewell is in his ninth year as Albion superintendent. Before Albion he worked at the Schroon Lake school district in the Adirondacks. That district only has about 200 students. Bonnewell was the district’s superintendent, K-12 principal and also served as the business administrator.

Before Schroon Lake, he was principal of Honeoye Middle-High School.

Bonnewell said he has enjoyed getting to know many of the Albion High School students better the past month.

“Our students are vibrant and caring, and being with them reminds me how privileged I am to work with them each day,” he said in a letter to parents.

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