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NY Mills High School principal leaving for Alexandria

Matt Aker says he's leaving a job he enjoys, but the right opportunity came along and he's not going to pass it up. After five years as New York Mills High School Principal, Aker took the job of principal at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria.

Aker submitted his resignation to the School Board on Monday and will be done at the end of this school year. He notified his staff in a meeting Monday after school and starts the new job in Alexandria officially July 1.

"It is with pride and admiration that I request to leave the New York Mills school district," Aker said in his letter to the board and Superintendent Todd Cameron. "I feel that over the past five years many things have been accomplished through shared visions and teamwork with the best interest of the school, students, and the community in mind."

The school board unanimously accepted Aker's resignation at Monday's meeting. There was little discussion, other than some good-hearted humor on whether the board would accept the resignation. Board member Rachel Grieger did offer congratulations and told Aker he's done a "real nice job here."

Matt and his wife Kerry, along with their three children, will move to Alexandria at the end of the school year.

"Because of the uniqueness of the school and community, New York Mills has a very bright future," Aker continued in his letter. "New York Mills has been a great home for both my family and I. We have felt blessed to have the opportunity to live and be part of a great community."

Aker said his new position has been a life goal for many years. Prior to moving to Mills, he taught for eight years and spent one year as dean of students in the Alexandria public schools system. When he took the job at NY Mills High School five years ago Aker said at that time he would stay at least three years before pursuing anything else, and Alexandria was the only other place he considered.

As middle school principal, grades 7-9, in a larger school district Aker said he will have a full support staff which will allow him to focus on specific areas of the job.

"This is a good move for me and my family," Aker said Tuesday. "This new job will give me an opportunity to concentrate on teaching and learning."

Aker explains, by no means is he leaving New York Mills because he doesn't like it here, but the Alexandria job is a great opportunity to grow professionally.

Cameron praised Aker's work the last five years.

"Matt has done an outstanding job with the curriculum bringing in new courses and classes. He's put together a really sound program here at the high school."

The school board will now discuss options at a workshop on June 9. Cameron said at this point they will talk about the different options including filling the position in-house or advertising for a principal.

Cameron said he'd like to see a new hire announced at the July board meeting.