Danna named to lead area educational reform team

WARRENSBURG-Local resident Stephen Danna has been named to head up a regional effort to implement the federal Race to the Top educational reforms.

Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES officials announced May 11 that Danna has been named Senior Facilitator for the Race to the Top initiative for their agency, which oversees 31 school districts with a total enrollment of about 42,000 students.

The Race to the Top initiative includes developing more comprehensive ways of quantifying student progress, and creating a data-based methodology of evaluating performance of teachers and administrators - then developing new training programs for educators to boost outcomes.

Danna is well-known throughout the region as an expert in professional development, BOCES Assistant Superintendent Janie Cornell said in a prepared statement.

"Steve's knowledge and expertise in school reform and educator evaluations make him uniquely qualified for this position," she said, noting that Danna has worked in many area schools as an administrator or a consultant. "He is keenly aware of the challenges each district faces and what they need to succeed."

Danna will be leading a regional team of educators in implementing the Race to the Top reforms.

A committee of regional school superintendents chose Danna from about 30 candidates. He will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, with his $97,000 annual salary bankrolled by federal Race to the Top grant funds.

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