2001-04-26 / Top Stories

District 18 Had Eight New Principals — For A Day

District 18 Had Eight New Principals — For A Day

"Principal for a Day" Raymond Goulbourne (center), a vice president with Black Entertainment Television, and the real Principal Penny Grinage work with  P.S. 135 second graders."Principal for a Day" Raymond Goulbourne (center), a vice president with Black Entertainment Television, and the real Principal Penny Grinage work with P.S. 135 second graders.

As students at eight of Community School District 18’s elementary and intermediate schools arrived on the morning of April 5th, many were surprised to see new faces in the principals’ offices. The temporary change was part of a citywide public school participation in the Principal for a Day Program (PFAD), sponsored by PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) in conjunction with the New York City Board of Education.

The annual event matches public figures, business and civic leaders with city schools in order for them to experience being principal for a day. The volunteers spend a full day at their assigned school and get a sense of what a day at a public school is like, for both students and staff. The long term goal of the program is to form partnerships between schools and individuals from the community and business world. The visitors spent the day conducting student assemblies, sitting in on meetings, making morning announcements and visiting the students and teachers in their classrooms.

In District 18, New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry served as principal at Intermediate School 211, where he helped conduct a student awards assembly; Steve Harkavy, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Frank Seddio, spoke to students at P.S. 114; Margaret Novack, Assistant Director of Community Relations for Starrett City at Spring Creek, was at P.S. 115, while Michelle Byrd, Executive Director for Independent Feature Projects got an overview of Project Arts at Public School 276.

Additional PFAD participants in the district included Raymond Goulbourne, Senior Vice President of Black Entertainment Television at P.S. 135; Caryn Effron, Director of Acrman-ZIFF, spent the day at I. S. 232; Maurice Nicholson, Director of Merchant Communications Group for American Express, at I. S. 252 and Lois H. Tendlen, director of the MTA New York City Transit Authority who visited I.S. 285.


Visiting a 3rd grade class during her P.S. 276 "Principal for a Day" stint is executive Michelle Byrd (2nd from right). Also pictured are (l. to r.)  assistant principal Pauline Smith Gayle, assistant principal Warren Glenn and Principal Diane Weiss.Visiting a 3rd grade class during her P.S. 276 "Principal for a Day" stint is executive Michelle Byrd (2nd from right). Also pictured are (l. to r.) assistant principal Pauline Smith Gayle, assistant principal Warren Glenn and Principal Diane Weiss.

"This event provides business professionals with the opportunity to experience the challenges of being a school administrator," said Community Superintendent Paula LeCompte Speed. "Additionally, these professionals come to the schools as role models and are able to expose students to a variety of careers."

"We are very grateful to the individuals who donated their time to become principals for a day and hope that they will come back to visit District 18," stated Julia James, President of the Community School Board.

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