New Student Services director a familiar face
For Kate Beattie, the opportunity to return to the General Brown Central School District as the Director of Student Services, seemed like a wonderful twist of fate.
She left the position four years ago to become a principal at Carthage High School to diversify her experience, but she couldn’t resist the chance to come home to General Brown.
“It’s an emotional thing to go back. I learned so much in my time as a high school principal; it’s been a great learning experience for me. But when my old job opened up, I felt like I couldn’t let that go by,” Beattie said.
Beattie was named to the position during last month’s board of education meeting and will begin working in the district on January 11.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Beattie back to General Brown in this important role as she shares the district’s belief that all students are essential members of their classrooms, and when students feel safe and welcomed as part of the community, they all benefit and see increased achievement,” Superintendent Barbara Case said. “Ms. Beattie’s compassion toward the students and families she works with, along with her willingness to take risks and think creatively with inclusion, make her an asset to our district.”
Beattie’s connections to General Brown run deep. Before working in the district, she attended district schools, and her mother taught fourth grade at Dexter Elementary for almost 35 years. “General Brown is where I grew up. I’ve come from being the shy girl I was in school here to someone ready to return and give back to the community that has meant so much to me for 30-plus years,” she said.
Beattie started her career in education as an elementary school counselor at General Brown, which she did for seven years. She was then asked to take on the role of chairperson for the Committee on Special Education, followed by taking the reins as director of Student Services.
Beattie said being a building administrator in a larger district has made her more well-rounded, but she was ready to return to the job she loved. “Being the director of Student Services was the most fulfilling and enjoyable position I’ve worked in. And now I will be doing it with a lot more knowledge and experience behind me,” she said.
Beattie said General Brown has gone through a lot of positive growth in recent years, especially with its focus on inclusion. She said she believes these inclusion efforts are at the heart of the district’s strategic plan, which seeks to advance student achievement and school culture in a way that benefits all students.
“Inclusion furthers the sense of community in the classroom. Everybody’s part of the class; everyone is cared about and respected,” she said. “It’s important that we find ways to challenge all students appropriately and make them feel successful in whatever they are doing.”
Beattie said she is looking forward to building relationships and engaging with families, which is especially important in the current environment of hybrid and remote learning.
“The challenges for our special education students are more intensified this year,” she said. “Keeping the lines of communication open is more important now than ever, so we can work with students and their families to come up with solutions that will give the students the best opportunity for success.”
Beattie said she loves that the smaller size of GBCSD makes it possible in her role to connect personally with staff, students and families and have a feel for how each student is doing.
She said one of her priorities will be to continue to find new ideas and resources to help the staff provide more inclusive opportunities to their students. “Teachers are wired to want to do the best for every student, and I want to make sure everyone has the support they need to meet the needs of each individual student,” Beattie said.
Beattie earned her bachelor’s degree in history and educational studies as well as her master’s degree in counseling and human development from St. Lawrence University. She received her certification in Educational Administration from SUNY Oswego and her School District Business Leader certification from the College of Saint Rose.
Outside of work, Beattie said she likes to get outdoors and looks for opportunities to hike and run locally. She also enjoys baking as a stress-relieving activity.
Beattie can be reached at email@example.com.