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Principals Office

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SchoolBook is making the rounds to interview principals but don’t wait for us to knock on your door. We invite all principals to submit essays, opinions and first-hand insights on the New York City school system. We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us at schoolbook@wnyc.org.

Schoolbook

Leading the Way to School Discipline Without Suspensions

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One principal approaches discipline with a combination of structure and flexibility. It's helped turn a violent, failing school in Queens into a neighborhood model.
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Schoolbook

On Turning Around a Troubled School: 'Make Kids Feel Special'

Monday, August 25, 2014

WNYC
Shawn Rux took over as principal of M.S. 53 in Far Rockaway in 2011 after it was rated one of the most dangerous schools in the city. Now, he's still working to turn it around.
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Schoolbook

Award-Winning Principal Opens School as an 'Act of Desperation'

Monday, June 16, 2014

A New York City principal was recognized this month with a public service award, a honor she found somewhat unsettling: "It’s very difficult for me to feel this sense of specialness for getting an award for doing the things that I think I’m just supposed to do."

 

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Schoolbook

Principal's Personal Story Helps Immigrant Students Adjust

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Coming to a new setting is very, very hard," said the principal of Bronx International High School. "It was a struggle for me, and I see the same struggle for them." SchoolBook checks in with Joaquin Vega in our latest 'Principal's Office' interview.

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Schoolbook

Founding Principal Struggles to Realize Vision Despite Budget Cuts

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"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.

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Schoolbook

Bringing Business Skills to a School's Front Office

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

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.

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Schoolbook

Finding Ways to Make a Big School Feel Small

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Kate Burch: Every Student is an Intellectual

Friday, September 07, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Matthew Willoughby: Using ‘Design Thinking’ to Ensure College Readiness

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Nadav Zeimer: Experiments Need Time to Work

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Jill Hoder: Take Public Education Personally

Monday, June 25, 2012

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."

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Schoolbook

Deirdre DeAngelis-D'Alessio: Leading Is an 'Us' Business

Monday, June 11, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Rashid F. Davis: 'No Such Thing as Too Hard'

Monday, May 21, 2012

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."

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Schoolbook

Elizabeth Phillips: Teachers Need to Be Supported

Monday, May 07, 2012

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.

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Schoolbook

Susan Barnes: 'Believe You're Worthy'

Monday, April 23, 2012

After earning an A in two progress reports, last year P.S. 112 in the northern section of the Bronx fell to a D, setting off fears among students and parents that the school would be closed. The principal, Susan Barnes, talked about how fragile success can be in certain schools and certain neighborhoods, and how scoring poorly puts a school under a microscope.

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Schoolbook

Saul Gootnick: 'You Have to Do Baby Steps'

Monday, April 09, 2012

Forest Hills High School has more than 3,800 students, 12 assistant principals and 195 teachers. Despite its size and crowding issues, it has earned an A on its progress report three years in a row. The principal, Saul Gootnick, said his team changed the culture of the school by focusing on the classroom and introducing changes one step at a time. "You have to have a plan and you have to make people believe in what you think," he said.

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WNYC News

In the Principal's Office | A Look at School Leaders’ Unique Work Spaces

Monday, April 09, 2012

This week, WNYC invited principals to submit photos of their office and include mementos that held specific significance.

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Schoolbook

Bayan Cadotte: Have Teachers Share the 'Wows and Wonders'

Monday, March 26, 2012

The principal of Public School 186 in Bensonhurst roams the halls of her large school constantly, giving feedback and cheering on students and teachers as they work hard to do well on test scores, but she says she wants them to have fun in school, too.

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Schoolbook

Mark Federman: Catch Students Before They Fall

Monday, March 12, 2012

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."

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Schoolbook

Edward Tom: 21st-Century Principals Have to Be Resourceful

Monday, February 27, 2012

'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.

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