“We have so many people doing so many things. In a perfect world, if I could staff the way I needed to staff, I’d need 10 more teachers, seriously, in order to get done the things that need to get done,” said Principal Cynthia Schneider in the latest Principal’s Office interview.
In the latest installment of the Principal’s Office series, SchoolBook talked with Dominick D’Angelo, who has led I.S. 228, on Avenue S in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood, with a business mindset, a byproduct of his earlier career on Wall Street.
A local Corona native leads the middle school I.S. 61 with a focus on strong relationships and continuity for his students. SchoolBook interviews Joseph Lisa in our latest Principals Office.
In Principal’s Office, a regular feature of SchoolBook, a city school principal is interviewed for insights into school management and the life of a school leader. Today, Kate Burch shares her experience starting a new school that she hopes offers academic rigor within a nurturing school community.
Matthew Willoughby, who leads the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, explains how he gets his students ready for college with creative projects and field trips in addition to traditional academics.
Principal Nadav Zeimer said he is feeling in the spotlight since his school was removed from the turnaround list last year. He wants to prove to city officials that the decision was the right one, and that his transfer students can succeed despite difficult life circumstances.
In the final Principal’s Office interview of the 2011-12 school year, Jill Hoder, principal of P.S. 161 Arthur Ashe School in Queens, said data helps the school personalize the learning experience for its diverse student body and in inclusion classes that accommodate a special-needs population of 13 percent. “The mission and the motto in this building is that we take public education personally. What you do or what you need to learn is gravely different from what the person next to you needs to learn.”
In the latest Principal’s Office interview, the principal of New Dorp High School on Staten Island says her large high school is working for her students — and can be a model to help preserve other large high schools in the city. “There are advantages to small schools for a certain kind of kid, but there’s something about the community of a large school that you can’t replace,” she says.
Rashid F. Davis is principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a new school that opened in Brooklyn with a unique six-year plan that offers students a high school diploma, as well as an associate’s degree, upon graduation. “Every single day it’s a new fight,” he says. “Every single day that they walk out of this building they’re tempted, and unfortunately there are many bad temptations for students. And so we push as hard as we do to counter those negative temptations.”
Elizabeth Phillips, the principal of Public School 321 in Brooklyn, has been an outspoken critic of the state exams for elementary school children and the teacher data reports. Ms. Phillips, who leads a high-performing school of 1,407 children, said good teachers were the essence of good schools. “I feel like almost everything I do has to be geared to how I am supporting the teachers,” she says.
Schoolbook is a site dedicated to news, data and conversation about schools in New York City.
Tell us what’s going on in your school. You can e-mail us with your tips or documents, or call 646-801-9698 and leave a voice message.
Join the Public Insight Network and help our journalists cover education in the city. Your stories and insights can help us create relevant and distinctive reporting. Join more than 100,000 people and become a trusted source.