Dear Pelham Community,
I hope this letter finds you enjoying Labor Day weekend and feeling refreshed as summer winds down and a new school year is set to begin. I am extremely excited to see your children’s smiling faces when we welcome them back to the Pelham Public Schools this Tuesday, September 6. While we have made great progress returning to normal over the past couple of years, I truly believe we are ready to finally turn the page on the pandemic-era protocols that have consumed valuable resources and recenter our full attention back to delivering on our motto of “Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students” through the core and innovative work that is the hallmark of our district. Throughout the fall I plan to host a variety of focus group sessions to hear from various stakeholders on what that motto means to all of us as we continue to move the work of our strategic plan forward. Please watch for information about those opportunities in the coming weeks and months.
On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, we welcomed our faculty and staff back for two Superintendent’s Conference Days and it was inspiring to see the energy and enthusiasm of our outstanding teachers, administrators and support staff members. As we reconnected, set goals and prepared for the year ahead, I was reminded of how incredibly fortunate I feel to lead such a talented and dedicated staff.
The beginning of each year offers an opportunity to welcome and acclimate our new staff members and I am already impressed with the talent of this newest cohort of Pelham educators. Speaking of our new staff members, I am pleased to share that Mr. Richard Leprine was recently appointed as Interim Assistant Principal of Pelham Memorial High School. Mr. Leprine previously served as Assistant Principal of PMHS from 1998-2022 before being named Principal of John Jay High School and John Jay Middle School in Cross River, NY - a post he held until retiring in 2018. We are extremely fortunate to have Mr. Leprine, who brings a wealth of experience and familiarity with Pelham to his work alongside Principal Berkowitz while we continue our search for the next Assistant Principal for PMHS. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Leprine back to Pelham!
Additionally, it was a true honor to continue the tradition of recognizing our committed staff members for reaching significant career milestones of service to our District. Please join me in congratulating Marcia Bean - Elementary Strings Teacher, Lisa Cornacchia - Middle School Counselor, Todd Hembury - Middle School Earth Science Teacher, Johanna Kagel - Colonial Second Grade Teacher, Catherine Rodriguez - Colonial Special Education Teacher, Laura Stagliano - PMHS English Teacher and Jane Wals, PMHS Art Teacher on completing 25 years of service to the district. Please also join me in thanking and honoring Prospect Hill Second Grade Teacher, Julie Martin, for 30 incredible years serving our students.
In the coming year we look forward to welcoming families back into our schools so that we can reconnect on a personal level and reorient our patterns of communication in a way that builds partnership, collaboration and resolves questions and concerns in the most efficient and effective manner possible. In support of that work, please remember to access the “Whom Should I Ask?” portion of our website to identify which staff member is the best starting point for various topics. Teachers, counselors, and building administrators are almost always the first line of support for students as well as parents. We welcome those conversations and look forward to building strong home - school partnerships in service and support of our students. On behalf of the Pelham Public Schools faculty and staff, please enjoy the last days of summer. We look forward to partnering with you on a productive, joy filled and exciting year ahead.
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools