Ian Knox to be named principal of Hamagrael Elementary School

Ian Knox, an administrator in Lansingburgh, to be named principal of Hamagrael Elementary School

The Bethlehem Central Board of Education is expected to name Ian Knox as principal of Hamagrael Elementary School. Knox, who is currently principal at Turnpike Elementary School in Lansingburgh, will succeed David Ksanznak as principal. Ksanznak is retiring at the end of June.

Hamagrael Elementary School is one of five K-5 schools in the BC school district. It has a current enrollment of 300 students. The Board of Education is expected to appoint Knox at its next meeting on Wednesday, May 5. 

“We are excited to welcome Ian Knox to the BC community,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “We have already been impressed with his enthusiasm, preparedness and professionalism. He has an easy rapport with people and will be a great addition not only to our administrative team but as a strong leader and advocate for the entire Hamagrael school community.”

Knox has worked in the Lansingburgh Central School District for three years: one year as assistant principal at Turnpike Elementary and the last two years as principal. Turnpike has an enrollment of nearly 600 students in pre-K through grade two. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from SUNY Albany and a master’s degree in elementary education from The College of St. Rose. He also earned his educational leadership certificate from SUNY Stony Brook in both school building administration and school district administration.

Prior to his work as an elementary administrator in Lansingburgh, Knox worked for five years in the Niskayuna Central School District, teaching first and third grades.

He says it was his teaching experience that provided him with the foundation for being an effective building leader.

“My biggest takeaway from teaching was how important the role of relationship-building is with students and families,” said Knox. “When everyone feels safe, cared for and nurtured great things can happen. That has been my main priority as an administrator as well and will continue to be in my role as principal of Hamagrael Elementary.”

Knox said he was drawn to the larger Bethlehem community for its well-recognized support of its schools as well as the district’s core values that emphasize academics, character, community and wellness. 

“Those values and that special sense of connectedness are deeply ingrained in the foundation of how to create the best educational experience for children,” said Knox. “As principal, I look forward to forming those important relationships with each and every student, supporting the school’s dedicated teachers and staff, and building strong connections with our supportive families.”

While Knox says he has learned a lot about the district throughout the interview process this spring, he admits he will be working on adding some BC orange and black to his wardrobe in the months ahead. 

“I am a diehard Duke Blue Devils fan so I will have to swap out some blue for orange,” said Knox. “My wife’s family loves the Syracuse Orange. Needless to say, they are going to enjoy watching this transformation. I am looking forward to representing the orange and black!”

Knox and his wife currently reside in Latham. They have two children and a chocolate labradoodle named Newton. As a family, he said, they love to read books, spend lots of time playing outside, have family movie nights, and enjoy the occasional dance party. He and his wife also enjoy running, cooking, and spending time in Cape Cod each summer with their family. 

His first day as principal at Hamagrael will be July 1.

ian knox
The next principal of Hamagrael Elementary School, Ian Knox, visits the school with his two children.