Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thomas Wilson Moves to Middle School; Menzel and Laitman to Lead Elementary School

Superintendent David Quattrone announced today that he will recommend Dr. Thomas Wilson as Bronxville Middle School's next principal. Wilson has served as Elementary Principal since 2003 and brings to his new position background experience as a sixth grade teacher and as a highly effective school leader. In a related move, Quattrone has also invited Assistant Principal Heidi Menzel to serve as interim Elementary principal and fifth grade teacher Adrienne Laitman to serve as interim Elementary assistant principal for the 2012-13 school year.

The Middle School search process, led by Rachel Kelly, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, began in February with open meetings for parents and staff, a dialogue with Middle School student government, and an online survey. This needs assessment identified some clear themes, including understanding and appreciation of children in this age group, capacity to build a strong sense of community and identity, ability to communicate and coordinate academic programs and services, and active, visible leadership. For the needs assessment summary, go here.

Quattrone, Kelly, and Assistant Superintendent John Kehoe screened 140 applications and interviewed seven promising candidates, including two teachers, several assistant principals, a principal, and a curriculum supervisor. At the end of this phase, the district leaders decided to explore the Middle School option with Wilson."Throughout the search process," Kelly said, "Tom served as the benchmark of someone who had actually achieved the kinds of accomplishments we were looking for. His name came up in conversations with both parents and staff."

The Board of Education will act on this recommendation at its April meeting. "Tom met all the major requirements for this job that emerged from the needs assessment," said Quattrone. "He has a deep familiarity with the developmental needs of this age group, and he knows this particular group of students personally.

"He is a proven leader who enlisted parents in an active effort to improve the Elementary facility and its sense of community. He has developed strong teacher leadership and a positive professional culture. He has promoted active communication through newsletters, curriculum pacing guides, and a revised report card.  The academic program has sharpened its focus and its depth in both English language arts and mathematics. He supported the introduction and expansion of Character Counts, a key priority at the Middle School. He is in the halls, in the classrooms, and at team meetings."

Wilson graduated from  Hunter College and holds masters degrees from both Hunter and Fordham and a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia. He has taught in New York City, Miami, and Scarsdale. Pending Board of Education approval, he will assume his new duties this July 1st.