Holley principal to retire on June 30 after 40-year career

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 February 2022 at 11:07 am

Sue Cory proud of family atmosphere at school

Photos by Tom Rivers: Sue Cory, the high school principal, and Brian Bartalo, the district superintendent, present the high school diploma to Jamel Hildreth during graduation on June 27, 2020. The district moved the ceremony to the school parking lot due to Covid restrictions that capped attendance at 150 for outdoor ceremonies.

HOLLEY – Sue Cory will be retiring on June 30 as principal of the Holley Junior-Senior High School. She has been principal for about 12 years during a time of a major capital project at the school and gains in student academic achievement.

Cory said new clubs have emerged for students and the district has embraced students’ social, emotional and mental health, along with academics.

“I love Holley,” Cory said. “We do a great job of taking care of each other. We really are family.”

Cory has worked at Holley for about 34 years. She started her career for four years as a home economics teacher in Ticonderoga and then worked a half year at Brighton. She has been a guidance counselor at Holley, a teacher on special assignment and director of student services.

Cory has been eligible to retire but wanted to help students and staff work through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m ready for the next chapter,” Cory said. “I know I have made a difference in the lives of some and they have definitely made a difference in my life.”

Cory spoke on Wednesday evening to the Orleans Hub while she watched a JV basketball game between Holley and Kendall girls. That game and the varsity contest that followed also were a fundraiser for a student battling lymphoma. Cory and many of the attendees wore green T-shirts in support of the student, Ella Richards-Dyson, a high school junior.

Cory said the small school district rallies around students facing a health crisis.

“I’m proud that we’re a staff and school that bands together in happiness and sadness,” Cory said.

Sue Cory speaks to a gym full of students and staff on April 22, 2019 when they welcomed back Evan Valentine, a student who was in the hospital fighting leukemia.