Our Principal

Dear SAES Families,

If you’re ever near the building and happen to hear one of my announcements, you’ll likely hear me say to the kids and staff members that we’re “one Seals family.” I truly believe that. For us to succeed deeply and meaningfully we have to care about each other, and to care we need to first understand one another. So I thought it would be fitting to share six things about me so we can get to know each other. Because the truth, as cheesy as it may sound, is that we’re all in this together, and we are all one Seals family!

  1. Education is not only my career, but my life’s calling. I’m a lifelong learner who has never stopped reading or learning. I believe passionately that a strong start is the pathway for children to open innumerable doors to the future.
  2. My wife, Gina, was born and raised in Sunbury and was a Brave by birth. Much to my joy (and my in-laws’ chagrin), she’s now a tried-and-true Seal. Sorry, Greg and Mary…
  3. My children, Lucy and Lucas, are Seals. We love our community!
  4. I taught high school English for 10 years before I became an administrator, and I was the Middle School assistant principal at SAMS for two years before joining SAES.
  5. When I’m not principal-ing, dad-ing, or husband-ing, I enjoy reading, exercising, playing chess, and playing fantasy football. Okay, mostly fantasy football. I’m also a Chicago Bears fan. I know — it doesn’t make sense to me, either.
  6. Every step along my professional journey has been a beautiful accident of fate. I am beyond blessed to be here and try to live each day with that proper gratitude in my heart.

My work cell phone number is 570-541-0185. Use it if you need it. As a parent of young children myself, I know it can be scary sending your little ones out into the world. Please know that I do this work every day with love for your children. More importantly, please know that the team here at SAES leads with love – this is a space where children are so, so valued!


Damian Gessel