A new Head of School has been named for the Truxton Academy Charter School.
School announced last week that Kerryanne Schenck will take over leadership for the local charter school. Schenck replaced Sara Petit-McClure.
“Mrs. Schenck’s agricultural background along with her educational experience and commitment to community proved to be the best fit for Truxton Academy,” according to a release that announced the hiring of Schenck.
Schenck was born and raised in Cherry Valley, a town in Otsego County. She grew up on a dairy farm, where her father was a dairy farmer.
In 1991, Schenck graduated from Nazareth College with a degree in music. Then in 2019, she graduated from Anderson University in South Carolina with a master’s degree in musical education. Schenck’s career in education includes 23 years as a music teacher in New York and Maryland.
Schenck took some time off to raise her four children, one that is 23 years of age, and the other three a set of triplets aged 16.
After a period of time, Schenck got into art management, where she worked for the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, the Syracuse Opera and Syracuse Children’s Chorus. She held a variety of jobs in marketing, public relations, budgeting, financing and more during this time.
Despite engaging in prominent roles for the art management industry, Schenck realized she missed education.
This led to her going back to school to get her certificate in instructional leadership at Canisius College in 2021.
Schenck then spent the spring semester of this year as the interim assistant principal at Global Concepts Charter School in Buffalo, prior to becoming the new Head of School at Truxton Academy.
What interested Schenck the most about the job opening at Truxton Academy was the agricultural connection. She noted she is involved in a slew of agricultural organizations, including Future Farmers of America, Dairy Farmers of America, and 4-H with her children.
“What interests me the most is that I could be an instructional leader at the same time, and help teachers with the New York state standards through an agricultural curriculum,” Schenck added.
Schenck currently has a dairy farm in Mexico of Oswego County. She shows miniature horses and Shetland ponies locally and nationally. Two of her miniature horses have won national titles, and one of her horses is heading to nationals this September in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Agriculture has always been a piece of me and who I am,” she said.
Schenck hopes to build upon the agricultural education that is active in Truxton Academy. The school currently has a rural life lab, and Schenck is looking to encourage teachers to teach three lessons outdoors to connect “agriculture and nature” into the lessons.
“My hope and intent is that we can get an agricultural teacher here to coordinate those lessons with our teachers,” she said.
Aside from increasing the agricultural aspect of education within the school, Schenck is looking to renew Truxton Academy’s charter school label in two years by “continuing academic success,” provide education on what a charter school is, bridge the gap between charter schools and local public schools within Cortland County, and work on staff retention and support needed in the school.
Schenck noted how vitally important a charter school is for the community. This includes Truxton Academy, which is the only rural charter school in the state.
“It is a public school and publicly funded. It’s an opportunity for a choice of school for children,” she said. “Sometimes public schools don’t work for kids. What I want to teach people about charter schools is it’s a choice and it’s free. It provides smaller class sizes and more individual attention.”
Schenck is eager for the 2022-23 school year to get underway.
“I look forward to meeting everyone and continuing this wonderful opportunity for the districts around here,” she said.