February 17, 2017 -- At a special meeting this past Wednesday evening, the North Shore Board of Education announced its selection of Dr. Peter Giarrizzo to be Schools Superintendent when Dr. Edward Melnick retires at the end of June. Dr. Girarrizzo is currently the Superintendent of the Pelham School District in southern Westchester County, a position he has held for four years.
“Dr. Giarrizzo shined as the right choice to lead our district,” said Board President Toni Labbate. “His dedication to educating the whole student, and experience in all aspects of school management including school finance, special education and strategic planning were only some of his qualities.”
The appointment is the culmination of a months-long process conducted by the Board of Education that began this past fall with community forums through which the superintendent search firm hired by the district, Leadership Advantage, developed a “candidate profile,” followed by the Board’s review of 50 resumes, two rounds of interviews, and researching and reviewing each finalist before selecting Dr. Giarrizzo.
The unanimous choice of the seven trustees, Board Vice President Sara Jones said that the “entire board found him to be a careful listener and a dedicated educator.”
Dr. Giarrizzo began his career as a Middle School English and Special Education teacher in the Valley Stream School system before moving on to a long line of administrative experiences - first as High School Director of Special Education in Valley Stream followed by Director of Pupil Services at Cold Spring Harbor, Director of Instructional Services at Mount Pleasant School District, and then Deputy Superintendent in the Elmsford Schools, before going to Pelham where he served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel for two years before becoming Superintendent there.
In his remarks Wednesday night, Dr. Giarrizzo expressed his commitment to North Shore’s educational values.
“Through the rigorous selection process it became clear to me that we share a common set of values about teaching and learning, and I’m thrilled to partner with you to continue on a strong trajectory of excellence and continuous improvement,” he said. “North Shore’s progressive approach to education is so well complemented by a commitment to best practice and sound pedagogy in combination with a strong sense of optimism aimed at enabling students to discover their dreams.”
Dr. Giarrazzo also gave a shout out to his predecessor who has served as North Shore’s Superintendent for 14 years, following stints in the district as Assistant Superintendent and district-wide Music Director.
“I extend my gratitude to Dr. Melnick for the good care and fine leadership that he has provided to North Shore over the course of his many years and wish him much happiness in his retirement,” he said. “The North Shore schools are exciting places for students to learn and that is clearly attributable to Dr. Melnick and his passion for our students, administration, faculty, staff, and the greater North Shore community.”
Among his priorities, Dr. Giarrizzo identified the importance of maintaining excellence in student programming and expanding opportunities for equity, enrichment, differentiation and extension of learning opportunities for students at all levels, K-12.
“Fostering the qualities of respect for self and others, integrity, good citizenship, honor, intellect within a framework that supports the social-emotional development of students will be at the forefront of my work,” he said. “I plan to work to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to access the richest, most robust academic program appropriate to them, and to do this within the constraints of the tax cap legislation while protecting the District’s short, medium and long term financial position.”
Before he takes charge, Dr. Giarrizzo said that he will engage in a series of interviews with a wide range of school community stakeholders and residents.
“I look forward to working with all these stakeholders to begin the process of formulating my entry to the community and developing a long term strategic plan that builds on a record of success through strong communication and collaboration with the community."
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