Dr. Cheryl H. Champ Named Superintendent

Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members:

The Board of Education of the Pelham Public Schools is excited to announce that Dr. Cheryl  H. Champ will be appointed as the District’s next Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s meeting on Tuesday, July 11 and assume the position on August 8, 2017.

Dr. Champ is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Sewanhaka Central High School District in Floral Park, NY, which serves 8,500 students in grades 7-12 and has a staff of 1,200. She comes to Pelham with over 20 years of experience as an educator, having begun her career as a music teacher in South Carolina, North Carolina and upstate New York before serving as assistant principal of Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School and principal of Lakeland High School in Yorktown, NY.  Dr. Champ received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Manhattanville College and her Master’s in Education Administration from the College of St. Rose, where she now serves as an adjunct professor.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been selected to be the next Superintendent for the Pelham Public Schools,” Dr. Champ said. “Pelham is a wonderful community that values education and is supportive of its schools. As one of the top school districts in New York State, Pelham has been a leader in 21st Century Learning, educating the whole child, and fostering life-long learning for staff and students.

“The strong strategic plan, broad course offerings, parental involvement, and commitment to student and staff development are assets that will continue to drive the success of this outstanding district,” Dr. Champ continued. “I look forward to assuming this crucial educational leadership role, to meeting students, parents, faculty, and staff, and to becoming a member of the Pelham community.”

The Board of Education and community as a whole were fortunate to have an incredibly strong field of candidates for the position, including three finalists that were sitting superintendents. Throughout the interview process, Dr. Champ proved to not only have an impressive resume and background, but also emerged as the right fit for the Pelham community.

From the start of the superintendent search process, the Board committed to finding a candidate that reflects the values and priorities of our community. With that in mind, our search consultants at Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates formulated a leadership profile based on the input of over 600 District and community stakeholders and we are pleased to report that Dr. Champ’s background and acumen very closely mirror those priorities. In particular, the Board is impressed by her strong communication skills, her ability to build consensus among colleagues and community members, her drive and vision to continue improving educational outcomes, her commitment to researching issues and making informed decisions and her even-keeled demeanor.

Dr. Champ has experience working on a variety of initiatives similar to those underway at the Pelham Schools. These include implementing the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, overseeing a 1:1 technology program, expanding access to advanced coursework, providing students with disabilities and English Language Learners greater access to the general education curriculum, developing and implementing a strategic plan and advancing professional development opportunities for staff.

In addition to her curriculum work, she was an integral part of the district team that passed an $86 million building bond to provide needed repairs, renovations and expansions to the District's schools and grounds. Her training and experience in decision-making processes will be an asset to the Pelham community as we move forward with tackling similar issues.

Dr. Champ’s references repeatedly told Board members they were sad to see her leave, congratulated us for making a terrific choice, and said they had long viewed her as a future superintendent of schools. They also praised her collaboration and communication skills, noted that she is highly visible within the District and school buildings and said she is always thinking of the students first.

“The Board of Education agreed unanimously that Dr. Champ will be an outstanding fit for the Pelham Schools and we are impressed with her ability to listen, her collaborative skills, and her commitment to ensuring that the needs of each and every student are met,” said Board of Education Vice President Madeline Smith. “Over the past several years we have made tremendous strides as a District and the Board of Education is confident that Dr. Champ will continue to lead us in the right direction.”

Outgoing Board President Marianne Gilland added, “I’m thrilled to be leaving the District in the capable hands of Dr. Champ. Choosing the next superintendent of schools is one of the most important tasks that can be charged to a Board of Education, and I’m very proud of the process and the ensuing result.”

Throughout the summer, Dr. Champ will coordinate and work closely with current Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo to ensure a smooth transition into the 2017-18 school year.

“I am so pleased by the announcement of Dr. Champ as our next superintendent,” Dr. Giarrizzo said. “Her experiences and philosophies are a great match and I look forward to supporting her transition as the next leader of our District.”

The Board of Education would like to invite the community to join us before the July 11 meeting for a reception to welcome Dr. Champ to the District at 7:00 pm in the PMHS library. Come the fall, we will also provide additional opportunities for the community to meet Dr. Champ.

Finally, we would like to sincerely thank the entire community for your input, feedback and support.

We look forward to seeing you all very soon as we welcome Dr. Champ to the Pelham Community.


The Pelham Board of Education
Marianne Gilland (President)
Madeline Smith (Vice President)
Christa Acampora
Thomas Imperato
Peter Liaskos
Stephen Molineaux
Lonnie Phillips
Sue Bratone Childs (Trustee-elect)
Jessica DeDomenico (Trustee-elect)