Posted on August 9, 2022
RANDOLPH, N.Y. — Aug. 9, 2022 — Randolph Academy, which supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 with emotional and mental health disabilities, has hired Dr. Kristin Garaas-Johnson as its new Director of Curriculum and Special Education. She joins the two-campus district having most recently served as Principal and Supervisor of the LoGuidice Educational Center at Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, where she had been since 2020.
Among her duties, Dr. Garaas-Johnson will work collaboratively with the Administrative Team to ensure that proper program supports are in place for all students, including related services, behavioral assessments and action plans. She will also assist in bringing new students into the district. Additionally, she will help professional and support staff to implement best practices in collaboration and instructional design, while supporting the building principals in their day-to-day operations of the district’s Randolph and Hamburg campuses.
“We’re looking forward to Kristin’s leadership in new curriculum initiatives and instruction, with a specific focus on special education,” said Randolph Academy Superintendent Danielle Cook. “Many of our students have unique needs, and her background and research interests align nicely with those needs.”
Garaas-Johnson, who holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota, has spent more than two decades working in traditional and special education. Prior to BOCES, she served as Director of Education and Principal of Jamestown, N.Y.’s Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center, which provided trauma-informed education to students with significant learning challenges.
“I am very excited to have joined Randolph Academy and its many talented professionals,” Garaas-Johnson added. “The work they perform in the areas of Restorative Practices and Normative Culture is impressive, serving as true experts in these progressive learning approaches across Western New York. I’m excited to add my skills and experience to our senior administrative team to increase our students’ chances for success, both as learners – and one day, adults and professionals.”
Garaas-Johnson’s career has also included such roles as Vice Principal for Academics at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.; teaching positions with the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School and several school districts in North Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota; faculty adjunct and support positions with Trocaire College, North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead; and educational consultant, leading external review teams for school system accreditation.
She also holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University-Moorhead, a bachelor’s degree in English Education from North Dakota State University, and an associate’s degree in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities from Minot State University.
Raised in Fargo, N.D., she currently resides in Fredonia, N.Y., with her husband, Craig, and their two daughters — and two rescue Chihuahuas.
About Randolph Academy
The Randolph Academy Union Free School District supports, empowers and educates children in grades K-12 who have a variety of emotional and mental health disabilities stemming from various causes and conditions. The nearly 200-student district is comprised of a residential campus, whose origins trace back to the 1860s in Randolph, N.Y. and serves students from throughout the state, and a day school in Hamburg, N.Y., which serves students from dozens of districts across Western New York.
With a flexible structure and non-traditional classrooms, it focuses on the power of relationships to help students achieve academic progress, with the goal of graduating high school and preparing for life as productive adults. Its staff are experts in Normative Culture, a sociological method using positive peer pressure to influence behavior rather than a system of rules, and Restorative Justice, an alternative to suspensions and other punitive approaches. Learn more at www.randolphacademy.org.