Irvington Educators Present at National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison and Dows Lane Elementary School Principal Dr. Andrea Kantor presented at the annual National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference. Photo courtesy of the Irvington Union Free School District

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison and Dows Lane Elementary School Principal Dr. Andrea Kantor presented at the annual National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference, held from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

They shared insight with other school leaders from across the nation on how they’ve created a school community that fosters a sense of belonging for all.

“School leaders today need to balance student learning and academics, equity, and social-emotional learning and staff learning, growth, and collegiality,” Kantor said. “Being a compassionate leader who navigates the daily management of the building with heart is the key to success. Staff who feel valued, listened to and appreciated foster a community of love and appreciation for students.”

Kantor added that sharing leadership responsibility and fostering teacher, teacher aid and staff leaders is the first step.

“Always striving for the pursuit of better, and using a continuous improvement mindset, the distributed leadership team represents the entire staff,” she said. “By sharing concrete examples of systems that empower others, leaders will add to their repertoire of practice to help foster an exemplary professional community in their schools, that in turn helps students thrive and succeed.”

The national conference honored schools that have achieved a new level of professional recognition in their journey to continuously improve education for every student. Dows Lane received the National Blue Ribbon School award in September 2020.

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