Dows Lane Elementary School principal honored with Leadership Award

Photo caption: Dows Lane Elementary School Principal Dr. Andrea Kantor.  (Photo courtesy of the Irvington Union Free School District)

Dows Lane Elementary School Principal Dr. Andrea Kantor is being recognized for her commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and for advocating, educating and celebrating diversity. She was awarded the 2021 Leadership Award by the GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley Leadership Awards Committee.

“I am thrilled to have been nominated to receive the 2021 GLSEN Leadership Award,” Dr. Kantor said. “This honor is for everyone at Dows Lane; together we are growing in our attitudes and practices to make sure that all of our students feel a sense of belonging and respect. Our collaboration with GLSEN guides and supports our learning.”

Over the last four years, Dows Lane has worked with GLSEN’s Lower Hudson Valley Chapter, hosting visits from GLSEN representatives and workshops for all staff members, including teachers, service providers, aides, custodians, monitors, substitutes and administrators. This year, Dr. Kantor worked closely with GLSEN Chapter co-chairs Mary Jane Karger and Dan Longhurst to tailor the school’s professional learning.

“We delved deeper into our understanding about gender and LGBTQ student experiences, to make our classrooms and the entire school a safe, accepting and welcome place for all students,” Dr. Kantor said. “As a staff at Dows Lane, we work hard to create a sense of belonging and inclusiveness for all students and staff members. We celebrate our differences and our uniqueness. We have a strong sense of community, kindness and respect for each other.”

Dr. Kantor has been instrumental in creating a schoolwide nurturing learning environment for students to thrive and develop into caring, compassionate individuals and active learners. In each classroom, teachers encourage students to respectfully engage in discussions, show respect for others, and accept and honor their classmates’ differences. Through schoolwide read-alouds, students are also introduced to books chosen for lessons on diversity, respect and inclusion.

Dr. Kantor will be recognized for her accomplishments and successful leadership endeavors during the annual Leadership Awards Ceremony, which will be held virtually on May 20.

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