Clayton Intermediate School will open its doors for the first time Monday, Aug. 27

As summer break is winding to an end, the Smyrna School District is busy preparing for a new school year. Added to this year’s new school year excitement is the opening of Clayton Intermediate. Leading the way for the school for fifth and sixth graders is Principal David Paltrineri. Previously an associate principal at Smyrna High, Paltrineri is excited to be part of building a new school.

Paltrineri recently took a few moments to talk to the Sun-Times about why he applied for the job and what he looks forward to the most this school year.

Q What made you apply for the position of Clayton Intermediate principal?

A The opportunity to open a new school and create a culture for learning was very appealing. It is exciting; we are opening a new school with a veteran team of teachers, child nutrition workers, custodians and support staff.

Q How is preparing for the first year in a new school different from your typical new school year preparations?

A Preparing for a new school is very exciting yet very challenging. Although Clayton Intermediate School (CIS) will open with an experienced team, there was no furniture, no curriculum and until recently no building. The entire infrastructure needed to be ordered and in place when the CIS team arrived on Aug. 20.

Q What are you looking forward to most as principal of Clayton Intermediate?

A The best part of being the principal of a school is helping the CIS team to be the best at what they do as teachers. When the teachers are successful, the students are successful.

Q What inspired you to work in education?

A I come from a family of educators. My grandmother was a teacher and my dad was a teacher. I learned early in life that teaching is important work and a honorable profession. I love being part of something that makes a difference.

Q What qualities make for a good principal?

A Qualities of a good principal are vision, leadership, communication, and support. An effective principal must start with a vision for the school. The vision must be communicated clearly and reinforced daily. The principal must lead but also support the team. Support is achieved by listening and providing positive/constructive feedback.

Q What do you like about working in the Smyrna School District?

A The Smyrna School District a great place to work! Although it is a growing district, it has maintained a small town feeling. The SSD has great leadership with a clear vision. I feel very fortunate to be an employee of the SSD where all people are valued and appreciated. We are truly a family at SSD.

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