Briarcliff Names New High School Principal

At Thursday’s meeting, the Board of Education accepted the superintendent’s recommendation and unanimously approved the appointment of Diana Blank to serve as the principal of Briarcliff High School, effective July 1, 2021. Ms. Blank will succeed Ms. Debora French who will be retiring at the end of June after 30 years of exemplary service to the district.

Ms. Blank joined the Briarcliff school community as a student assistance counselor in 2004 and later served as the high school social worker for eleven years.  During that time, her exceptional interpersonal and clinical skills, her collaborative disposition, and her commitment to the success of students quickly garnered the respect and admiration of students, staff and parents. In 2013, she was nominated by the superintendent to attend Bank Street’s Future School Leaders Academy. While juggling her high school responsibilities, she demonstrated great professional initiative and leadership acumen over the next two years.

Ms. Blank was appointed as middle school assistant principal in 2015 and in 2018 moved to her current position as high school assistant principal.

Committed to the environment of mutual respect that exists at the high school, Ms. Blank is and has been a signatory to the district’s support for the needs and contributions of every student, every day… She has built the trust needed to bring students and teachers together, and to move our school community forward and towards a shared vision of growth and achievement.

Ms. Blank was born and raised in Westchester County.  She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in psychology, magna cum laude, and earned her master of social work from Hunter College.  In 2015, she earned her Ed.M in administration and supervision from Bank Street College Education’s Future School Leaders Academy. She lives in Ardsley, New York with her husband, two children and three dogs.

“I am extraordinarily excited about the prospect of becoming the high school principal next year,” Ms. Blank said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with such an engaged community, talented faculty, and, of course, amazing student body. I am forever indebted to Ms. Debora French for her leadership, mentorship, and friendship over the years.”

Board of Education President Michael Haberman, along with all the members of the board, was confident in this appointment.

“We knew Briarcliff’s tradition of exceptional leadership would continue at the high school,” he said. “We are truly fortunate to have a leader who has the perfect combination of interpersonal skills, dedication to the emotional well-being of students and staff, and a laser-like focus on best educational practices. We look forward to working with Ms. Blank.”

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About the Author: Alain Begun