SEPT. 21, 2022 — Three key administrative hires, approved over the summer by the Board of Education, will help staff at Midlakes schools grow student connections, reinforce positive behaviors, and address the social-emotional health of students.
Jessica VanDamme (K-6) and Laura Van Laeken (7-12) enter the 2022-2023 academic year as Administrative Dean of Students and Margo Lacure has joined the District as its Multi-Tiered System of Support/Community Schools Coordinator.
Lacure was an Assistant Principal in the Newark Central School District last year, while VanDamme and Van Laeken held different roles at Midlakes.
"I am excited to get to know the members of our community and to form partnerships that benefit our students and families," Lacure said. "We will work to adopt research-based interventions to provide students with the tools and skills needed to excel, and we will communicate with the Midlakes community about these interventions and their impact on students."
Prior to Newark, Lacure held a variety of roles in the Marion Central School District, including Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) coordinator to implement an evidenced-based approach to align school resources to best meet the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students.
As Dean of Students, VanDamme and Van Laeken both said they will look to fortify a sense of community for students at school, build student connections and serve as a bridge between home and school.
"This position allows me to use my strengths as an educator and social worker to support our Midlakes community with restorative practices and social-emotional wellness," said VanDamme, who served as an administrative intern last year at Midlakes and a social worker with Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES.
Van Laeken held the role of Teacher on Special Assignment Dean of Students last year at Midlakes Middle/High School. Prior to that, she taught at the Elementary School and was the head varsity cheer coach from 2002-2014, leading Midlakes to five sectional titles and 10 Scholar-Athlete teams.
"It is an exciting time at Midlakes," said Van Laeken. "I think these positions provide real opportunities to strengthen and increase our connections with students and their families to foster a sense of belonging and a feeling of community for students at school."