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Somers High Welcomes New Principal

SOMERS, N.Y. — As Irene Perrella retires as principal at Somers High School, the Board of Education is welcoming her replacement, Mark Bayer , an assistant principal at Chappaqua’s Horace Greeley High School.

Bayer will take on the probationary appointment as principal July 1. The probationary period expires June 30, 2015.

“We had well over 100 applicants when we started the process,” Superintendent of Schools Raymond Blanch said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. He said the board went through all the paperwork and got input from teachers, support staff, administrative staff, parents and students.

“We did a site visit to Mark’s current campus. ... Far across the board, the most solid thing is that Mark is kid-focused, so I think that speaks to Somers.” Bayer’s term will overlap with Perrella’s tenure, Blanch said, “and I think it’s really critical for us.”

Bayer attended Mahopac High School, studied math education at Manhattan College, then went on to SUNY-New Paltz, where he earned a master's of secondary education and a certificate of advanced study in educational administration.

For 13 years, he taught high school math, including five years at Greeley, before he was named assistant principal.

Ten years ago, Bayer was part of a team that started the successful alternative school at Greeley, called The LIFE School, or Learning Independently From Experience. “It was a school within the school,” he said. “It was a diverse population of about 50 kids who were struggling and at risk of dropping out.”

Bayer’s immediate goals at Somers are “getting to know the school, the community, the people, the students and their families.” He will start by “spending some time studying the way the school operates and looking at its strengths and weaknesses.”

Bayer learned of his appointment a few weeks ago. “I was very excited,” he said. “I’ve spent 21 years in education. The kids have always come first, and they’ll continue to do so.”

Anything else? Bayer added, “I’m an avid snowboarder.”

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