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New Principal in Sterling

Finn Replaces Freeman at Sterling Elementary

Teri Finn is in the process of packing up her things in Avon, N.Y., to begin a new life as principal of Sterling Elementary School.

Finn, who has worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in Perry, N.Y., will officially take office Monday, Jan. 29. She is currently working as principal of Perry Elementary School, in upstate New York, which is made up of approximately 350 kindergarten through fourth-grade students. She has worked as a second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, a curriculum coordinator, an assistant principal and principal for Perry Public Schools. She holds a bachelorÕs degree in natural science and a masterÕs degree in elementary education from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo and a certificate of advanced study in educational administration from SUNY at Rockport.

Sterling Elementary School principal, Michele Freeman, is leaving to open the new Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School in Ashburn come September.

FREEMAN, who has led the Sterling Elementary since 2003, looks forward to moving to a brand new school, but will miss the schoolÕs close-knit community she helped bring together.

Sterling Elementary School is made up of a diverse population of students. One of FreemanÕs biggest challenges at Sterling was opening up the lines of communication with all of her students' parents, even if they did not speak English.

ÒWe have to make sure we are communicating with everybody,Ó she said. ÒIt is our differences that set us apart, that make us special.Ó

Freeman has helped bridge the school and its community together with a Parent Liaison program, which matches parents with volunteers to help them understand the school system better.

ÒIt is our duty of service to the community,Ó Freeman said.

FINN SAID she is anxious to move to a new state, a new county and a new school system with her husband, Matthew.

Finn has lived in Avon her whole life.

Finn, who has family in Alexandria, looks forward to meeting the Sterling community and wants to get to the know the parents and students that make up her school.

The last time Finn visited Sterling Elementary School, she noticed something.

ÒEveryone was so welcoming,Ó she said. ÒI want to go in and build on the successes of Ms. Freeman and her staff.Ó

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER J. Warren Geurin (Sterling) said Freeman will be missed at Sterling Elementary School, but he looks forward to welcoming Finn to the school system Jan. 29.

"Mrs. Finn comes to us with seven years of experience as an elementary principal in Perry, N.Y., in a school about the same size as Sterling,Ó he said. ÒShe has been an instructional leader there, initiating data driven instruction programs and helping to redesign academic interventions.Ó