“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.
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.
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.
Many students at East Side Community High School on East 12th Street in Manhattan enter the 6-12 school performing below grade level. Yet somehow 90 percent of graduates go on to college. The principal, Mark Federman, said students get personal attention and respect: “We have kids who act like knuckleheads and we have moments where we have to be tough with them. But we’re looking for kids to do the right thing. We have a lot of faith that they can do the right thing.”
‘It is very important for me to constantly look for opportunities in which people are looking to support public education,’ said Edward Tom in the latest interview for Principal’s Office. And his relentless fund-raising, combined with his results-oriented philosophy, have paid off. At the high school he founded seven years ago, the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, students are thriving.
Jim Manly, 45, is the longest serving principal, or school leader, of the Success Academy Charter Schools, which started in 2006 and by next year could be operating a dozen schools throughout the city. He talks about working with Eva S. Moskowitz, the hard-charging founder of the Success network, and about how the constant protests and challenges to the Success schools has fortified his commitment to school choice.
A veteran of the public schools who is now principal at a charter school — and who home schooled her own children — asks: ‘Why can’t we have all different avenues for parents to educate their children? I think any time you give parents a choice, it’s a good thing.’
The Staten Island School of Civic Leadership was rated No. 1 on the city’s progress report this year, but its principal, Rose Kerr, says it is “every principal and every teacher’s challenge” to remember that “a child is not just a test taker.”
‘I want the teachers here to make a serial with a cliff hanger everyday so that the kids want to come back everyday,’ says Martha Polin, the principal of Lower East Side Preparatory High School, in the first interview of what will be a regular SchoolBook feature about managing New York City schools.
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