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Peekskill City School District Appoints Three New Principals

Peekskill Schools’ newest principals pose for a photo after being appointed at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. (From L to R):  Mr. Rolando Briceño, Dr. Cassandra Hyacinthe, and Mr. Jamal Lewis
Peekskill Schools’ newest principals pose for a photo after being appointed at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. (From L to R): Mr. Rolando Briceño, Dr. Cassandra Hyacinthe, and Mr. Jamal Lewis

At a meeting on May 6, the Peekskill City School District announced the appointment of three new administrators at the District. The new hires come to Peekskill as part of the District’s Reorganization Plan, which was announced in late February. Mr. Rolando Briceño, Mr. Jamal Lewis and Dr. Cassandra Hyacinthe will be filling the positions of Woodside/Uriah Hill Principal, Peekskill Middle School Principal, and Peekskill High School Principal effective as of July 1, 2014.

Peekskill’s new principals were carefully selected after a detailed recruitment process which involved candidates being interviewed by District administrators, teachers, parents and in the case of the high school, students.

“We were looking for people who had the right fit for the needs of our District and we believe we have found them,” said Peekskill Superintendent Dr. Larry Licopoli at Tuesday night’s meeting. “In our new reorganization design we’ve assured that no one is left alone, and we are all here to support each other and work together as an administrative team. I want to congratulate all of our new hires and obviously, the best is yet to come.”

Rolando Briceño has been appointed as the new Uriah Hill/Woodside Elementary School Principal. Mr. Briceño has been involved in education for 17 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics from Adelphi University, and later earned his Master’s Degree in School Leadership and Technology from St. John’s University.

Mr. Briceño taught for 7 years in the New York City School System before starting his administrative leadership career.   Rolando served as an assistant principal and principal for 7 years in the New Rochelle Public schools and he comes to Peekskill from his most recent position as a House Director in the Bedford School District.

Mr. Briceño is a school leader who is energetic, and imaginative, who believes all children can learn and thrive in a balanced and enriching learning environment.

“I am absolutely humbled and excited to have been selected as the principal at Uriah Hill and Woodside,” Briceño said. “I have to thank esteemed members of the Board, Dr. Licopoli, and the members and staff of Uriah Hill and Woodside.”

Jamal Lewis has been appointed as the new Peekskill Middle School Principal. Mr. Lewis earned his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Education from Baruch College and later earned two Master’s Degrees, one in Education from Lehman College and the other in School Supervision from Mercy College.

With 17 years of public school experience, Jamal has served as a teacher in New York City School schools as well as in the Ossining School District.  He has 8 years of experience as an administrative leader at the middle school level and comes to Peekskill as an Elementary Assistant Principal from the Newburgh City School District.

During Mr. Lewis‘s tenure as an educator, he has always established a respectful, caring and responsible school culture. He has worked with staff, students and parents diligently to develop programs and activities to further enhance student learning.

“I am so honored this evening,” Lewis said. “It is with great honor and privilege that I accept this appointment. I do give my complete dedication to you all, not just at the middle school, but also through connecting with the high school and elementary schools as well as with our parents.”

Dr. Cassandra Hyacinthe has been appointed as the new Peekskill High School Principal. A 20-year educator, Dr. Hyacinthe holds Bachelor of Art Degree in French from the University of Pennsylvania.  She later earned a Master of Science Degree in Education from Sarah Lawrence College and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration and Supervision from New Paltz.  In December 2011, Dr. Hyacinthe earned her Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College.

Dr. Hyacinthe taught in the White Plains School District and, since 2005, she has served as an Assistant Principal in Mount Vernon High School. 

Dr. Hyacinthe is a proactive and experienced school leader who comes to Peekskill eager to collaborate and help advance our high school.

“I feel like I found a new home,” Hyacinthe said. “It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I accept and eagerly anticipate serving as your next principal of Peekskill High School. I welcome the opportunity in the weeks and months ahead to have an open door to listen to the ideas and feedback of the teachers, staff, students and community…I promise to give you my all.” 

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