Deborah O’Connell has been hired as the new Superintendent of Schools in Croton-Harmon effective July 1, the Croton-Harmon Board of Education announced this week.
Dr. O’Connell has served as the District’s Assistant Superintendent since 2011, responsible for K-12 curriculum, instruction, assessment and data initiatives, professional development, teacher observations, and contract negotiations. She has also worked on the District’s Strategic Coherence Plan, and serves as chair of the Culture of Respect Task Force.
She will replace Dr. Edward R. Fuhrman, Jr., who announced his retirement at the end of this school year.
"After a comprehensive and intensive search, Dr. O’Connell emerged as a student-centered, inclusive leader who embraces a supportive community that is committed to educating the whole child in ways that empower and challenge our students rigorously and personally,” said Board of Education President Iris Bugliosi.
“In Croton, community members are essential partners in educating our students, and Dr. O’Connell understands that partnership,” Bugliosi said. “Her emphasis on the importance of strong relationship building with staff, students, parents and residents and her appreciation for open and transparent communication, set Dr. O’Connell apart.”
Before joining Croton-Harmon, Dr. O’Connell worked in the Clarkstown Central School District for 16 years, serving as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for two years, from 2009 to 2011. She also served Clarkstown as Associate Superintendent for Personnel, K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, and as Associate Superintendent for Personnel.
“It is an honor and privilege to be chosen as the next superintendent for the Croton-Harmon School District," she said. "For the last six years I have worked closely with a creative and dedicated staff who enrich the lives of students daily and a board of education and community that never hesitates to form partnerships to help us move closer to achieving our mission and vision."
Also at Clarkstown, Dr. O’Connell served as assistant principal at Clarkstown Senior High School South, Advanced Placement and Regents biology teacher at Clarkstown Senior High School South, teacher and District Science Coordinator at Felix V. Festa Middle School and teacher of biology at Albertus Magnus High School.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Saint Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, a master’s degree in secondary science education from Long Island University, and a doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University in Queens.
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