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The Dansville Online
  • Keshequa welcomes new pupil personnel services director

  • Kristina Mileham was approved by the Keshequa Central School Board on July 11 as the new Pupil Personnel Services director for the Keshequa Central School District, but did not officially start until Aug. 22. She is a current resident in Wyoming, in neighboring Wyoming County with her family. Her son attends the Wyoming school.

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  • Kristina Mileham was approved by the Keshequa Central School Board on July 11 as the new Pupil Personnel Services director for the Keshequa Central School District, but did not officially start until Aug. 22. She is a current resident in Wyoming, in neighboring Wyoming County with her family. Her son attends the Wyoming school.
    Mileham was a ’92 graduate of Oakfield-Alabama Central School District in Oakfield. She went on to Roberts Wesleyan for her undergraduate degree, then to Alfred University, where she studied school psychology.
    Prior to joining the KCS district administrative team, Mileham accomplished her School Psychology internship and began gaining her work experience at the Alexander Central School District in Alexander, and without skipping a step, after her internship, was hired on as the school’s psychologist, and there she grew as change and opportunities unfolded.
    “I worked as the school psychologist between my internship and a full-time psych for three years, there was some turnover in the CSE chair position which is the Special Education Department,” Mileham explained. “The Alexander District administrative staff were looking at doing a position split like Athletic Director and CSE chair, and I said, ‘No, no, no, let me do it.’”
    Mileham volunteered, and was approved for the dual-hat role for about a year, then transitioned fully to the CSE chairperson position for nine years. She worked as a pseudo-administrator who participated with the administrative team and was under the direct supervision of the superintendent.
    “However I did not have the needed certification at that point to promote further within the current Alexander District administrative structure”, she explained.
    Mileham admits she was comfortable in the Alexander position, with the routine and where she found a comfort-zone. The Alexander school superintendent continued to nudge her to earn her Administrative certification. Mileham eventually bit on the idea and went back to school for two years to the U of R where she just finished.
    “I’m glad I did,” Mileham stated about overcoming her hesitation to go back to school. “It absolutely helped me, and I was ready when my Superintendent shared the notice of the Keshequa PPS Director’s opening.”
    Mileham recognized the Keshequa position and opportunity as a professional development step-up, and applied with the encouragement of her supervisor. “I have and appreciate the confidence in my abilities from my superintendent at Alexander to further my career, offer a solid recommendation, and support me making this transition.”
    According to Covell, the job announcement resulted in really good application submissions, a very competitive field. He noted part of the competition today for leadership positions, with these busy times and lots of changes going on, that there “is much excitement, and lots of work. A lot of work. Tina was the candidate of choice pretty quickly,” Covell stated. “She made a good impression on those whom she met, those with whom she talked, she is an expert in her profession and was introduced with excellent recommendations. I am very excited for our district.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Mileham stated from her perspective and experience in special education that everything is driven by the law.
    “I am looking at as a top priority that things are legal. So if there is something out of compliance, and I haven’t found anything which is good, but then I would address that first,” she stated. Also right now she said it’s about getting to know people.
    “To do that, I have an initial goal to be available to listen to staff, to gauge current situations, other turnover and past practices, and that requires an open door policy,” Mileham explained. It takes consistent, accurate communication.
    Mileham stated her focus remains high on creatively striving to meet the unique needs of each Keshequa District student. This job is bigger than what she did at Alexander. She is in charge of supervising a larger group, that is not only special education, staff, aides and assistants that go along with that, but also, the Guidance Department, counselors, the school psychologist, all the related therapy people, speech, OT, PT, and also any interventionists, like AIS reading and AIS math and the nurses.
    “It’s beyond special education, I manage any homeless students, also homeschoolers, the Title 1 grants, and the list is longer, it is a broader umbrella.”
    The pupil personnel services director works directly for the district superintendent. Mileham said she is excited and encouraged to see the unity within the KCS District administration and that “our goal is the same and it is really about the kids and what’s best for them.”
    She shared how busy she has been settling in and that everyone has been very welcoming. “I met at the start with my staff. I’ve even been presented a ‘welcome bowl’ of chocolates and so they know how to win me over already,” she said with a smile. “We all share it.” She met the board of education when she was hired. She has received a couple of thank-yous from teachers, and that she said was a nice surprise.
    Mileham stated she is looking forward to the informal Welcome Reception open to the public on Thursday evening, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. in the KCS MS/HS media center. The welcome reception will be the first time she will get to meet the community. She hopes the public comes by for this face-to-face opportunity, and candidly reminded me for our district readers,
    “I’m approachable, encouraged and hopeful with the community, with the students I’ve met, with what I’ve experienced since starting here. Having come from experiencing such demanding challenges in special education and changes, through persevering and accurate communication, I want to reassure my part in our district community to be hopeful and open to see the great things that are going to happen. ‘Cause I know they are going to happen. You can just feel it!”
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