Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

foxmeadowThe Scarsdale School District is wasting no time filling two unexpected vacancies at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

In June, both Principal Duncan Wilson and Assistant Principal Colleen Mangan announced that they would leave the district to take positions in Briarcliff; Wilson to become Director of Curriculum and Human Resources for the district and Mangan to become Principal at Todd Elementary School in Briarcliff.

Their sudden departures left Scarsdale with very little time to fill the two key leadership roles at Fox Meadow. On July 6, Drew Patrick, the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development announced that the district would recommend the one year appointment of an interim principal for the school. They have selected Karen Eldon who retired in June 2017 after 11 years as Principal of Bedford Elementary School. In addition to meeting the needs of students, faculty and parents, Patrick says that Eldon will provide “provide on-the-job support and mentoring for a new Assistant Principal, and to set the stage for a newly selected Principal to transition in the spring/summer of 2019.”

As for the assistant principal position, Patrick said they have interviewed 16 external and internal candidates out of a field of 80 applicants. They invited five to come back and will recommend two to be interviewed by the Superintendent and the Cabinet for a final selection.

Meanwhile, the Briarcliff Schools sent out the following press release about Duncan Wilson’s appointment as Director of Instruction and Human Resources of Briarcliff Schools. Wilson will replace Edgar McIntosh who is coming to Scarsdale as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, replacing Lynne Shain who retired in June.

Here is the press release:

WilsonDuncan WilsonThe Briarcliff Board of Education has appointed Duncan Wilson, an educator with over 25 years of experience, to the position of Director of Instruction and Human Resources, effective July 1st.

“We are excited that Mr. Wilson will be joining the Briarcliff administrative team,” said Superintendent Dr. James Kaishian. “His experience, his approach to education, and his demonstrated ability to balance academic and intellectual growth with the social-emotional development of students is a great fit with the philosophy of our District. He brings hands-on experience across disciplines and at all three levels of the K-12 continuum. I know he will be a perfect fit in Briarcliff.”

Mr. Wilson has spent his career in various roles in high-performing New York schools including Horace Mann, Byram Hills, and the Scarsdale School District. Most recently he served as Principal of Fox Meadow Elementary School in Scarsdale for the past nine years. In Scarsdale, he played a leading role in bringing STEAM – the educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking - to the district and was instrumental in Fox Meadow being the first school in the region to have a Maker Space. He also served as Assistant Principal of Scarsdale Middle School for six years, where assisted in hiring, training, evaluating, and supervising the school’s professional staff as well as the design and implementation of the schools’ master schedule and all related logistics.

Additionally, Mr. Wilson was part of a team of three educators invited to work with the Project Zero at Harvard exploring the power of “Thinking Routines” around teaching and assessing as it related to four dispositions: Risk Taking and Resilience, Problem Visualization, Applying Knowledge to New Situations, and Collaboration. His study in the area was translated into his work in Scarsdale in the areas of: promoting wellness in students, transforming traditional classrooms into more flexible learning environments, addressing sustainability throughout the District, and creating of a collaborative District-wide initiative among administrators to mentor and coach teachers through redesigned observation and feedback practices.

The appointment follows a rigorous District search that included initial interviews, advisory committee interviews, and Board of Education interviews. The search advisory committee was made up of representatives including teachers, administrators, parents, and staff.

“I am honored to be appointed as Briarcliff’s next Director of Instruction and Human Resources,” said Mr. Wilson. “I uniquely understand the role teamwork plays in our students’ success. I am committed to a collaborative approach to leadership which combines engaging talented teachers, facilitating great teaching practices, and producing meaningful learning experiences. I am excited to be a part of an educational community well-known for being both progressive and reflective in regard to the role education plays in preparing our students for their futures.”

Mr. Wilson, who will replace Edgar McIntosh, earned a bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, a master’s degree in arts from New York University, and a master’s degree in education from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is certified by New York State as school administrator/supervisor, school district administrator, and in 7-12 social studies and English/Language Arts.