Educationally Speaking, What’s New in Public Education

The days are getting shorter – the nights, longer – and by now, summer is a distant memory for students in Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, and Irvington, who returned to school last week.

In the Tarrytown Public Schools, there was a slight increase in the student body. Superintendent Dr. Howard Smith said late last month that the projected enrollment was 2,675 – 43 more students than the 2006-07 school year. The staff in the district, including non-instructional employees, is at 489 – up nine staff members from last year.

The increased staff includes an extra elementary school teacher to keep down class size, two more middle school teachers for the expanded English Language Arts program, and two extra high school teachers to ensure a sufficient amount of elective courses. There are also four additional teacher assistants (TAs) for Grades K-3. All of these positions – except two TAs – were paid for by New York Contract for Excellence grants.

The district also welcomes several new administrators. Ann Marie Murphy is the new principal at the Grades 2-3 Winfield L. Morse Elementary School. She replaced Interim Principal Joanne Vale, who took over for Principal Joseph Carmody, who unexpectedly died in June 2006. The entrance to the school’s auditorium now bears a plaque in memory of Carmody, who began as principal in 1999.

Meanwhile, at the Grades 4-6 Washington Irving Elementary School, Interim Principal Dr. William Greene comes to the district with over 20 years of experience as a principal, replacing Zbynek Gold, who served as principal for five years. Assistant Principal Meghan Fitzgerald takes over for Rachel Gonzales, who returns to the classroom this year.

As the school year advances, residents will notice greater progress on the three-story addition to the front of Sleepy Hollow High School and Middle School. By January, according to Smith, many students will begin occupying the new classrooms as renovations of the old classrooms begin. In a report at a Board of Education meeting in March, it was announced that renovations of Washington Irving would begin next summer.

At the Irvington Public Schools, enrollment is down slightly. Last year, the Village had 1,961 students. This year, the projected number is 1,951, according to staff in the Board of Education office. On the flip side, the staff increased by three employees for a total of 325.

New administrators in the district include Scott Palermo, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and Karen Kellogg, whose interim appointment as Assistant Principal of the K-3 Dows Lane Elementary School becomes permanent this year.

Staff changes this year include an extra Irvington High School science teacher, an additional teacher/learning facilitator in the secondary schools, and one less elementary school teacher, according to a presentation by Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Matusiak in March. There is also an additional middle/high school teachers’ aide, a part-time math enrichment teacher at Dows Lane, and a part-time health teacher at the high school.

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About the Author: Brett Freeman