Alex Levine Honored for Work with the Regional Forum for Assistant Principals



September 25, 2018

Twenty-eight school administrators signed up for the Regional Forum for Assistant Principals, a series of morning gatherings hosted by Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES’s Center for Educational Leadership. Seventeen attended the first meeting. No one held it against the missing participants: all assistant principals know that things come up.
 
The responsive and broad nature of the position was a topic of discussion at the first forum led by this year’s moderators Meg Benedetto, assistant principal in Somers School District, Amelia Carpanzano, assistant principal at Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale School District, and Nicole Mangiere, assistant principal in the Putnam Valley Central School District.
 
The first order of business was honoring Alex Levine, former moderator of the Regional Forum for Assistant Principals and now principal at The Garrison School.
 
“We’d like to acknowledge Alex’s many outstanding contributions to this group and to our entire region,” said Lynn Allen, assistant superintendent of Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES. Last year, as assistant principal at Mahopac Middle School, Levine led the reinvigoration of the forum.
 
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you for your commitment to supporting and growing leaders throughout our region - specifically assistant principals,” said Allen. “You will forever be an honorary member of the AP Forum and serve as a positive role model for other assistant principals.”
 
“This is a phenomenal group,” said Levine. “These conversations have helped me in so many ways, professionally. I may sneak onto the list serve!”
 
Levine was referring to the 170-plus member email group that connects assistant principals in the region.
 
Carpanzano and Mangiere led engaging icebreakers, opening opportunities for the participants to get to know each other. In one, they read statements about being an assistant principal. Participants were given two cards to hold up in response. One read “Yup, that’s the real AP.” The other: “Nope, never happened to me.”
 
“A lot of assistant principals don’t aspire to be a principal,” said Benedetto, standing by a flip chart. “There must be a reason. Tell me the best part of your job.”
 
“Ever-changing job,” “Relationship with staff,” “Contact with students,” “Working with teachers,” and “Being a change-maker,” the participants called out. Benedetto wrote the list down.
 
“This group is driven by what we need,” said Benedetto.
 
 “It’s good to talk with other people and hear what other districts do, in order to make better-informed decisions,” said Dr. Adam Chagares, assistant principal at Pleasantville Middle School, one of the attendees. He had brought his new colleague, Rachel Hunger, assistant principal of the Bedford Road School in the Pleasantville School District, to the forum.
 
“It’s important to me to build up a network of people I can talk to and trouble shoot with,” said Hunger.
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About the Center for Educational Leadership
The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) is a program of PNWBOCES. It provides programs, services and customized offerings to over 800 school leaders and 200 various school personnel from 144 school districts.