Dr. Kathryn Behr announced as new Schreiber principal

In late April Schreiber’s new principal was chosen and announced by the district.  After Dr. Pernick announced he was moving to a position in Central Administration, the Principal Appointment Committee worked tirelessly to appoint a new head of school for Schreiber.  Come this Sept., Dr. Kathryn Behr, currently Assistant Principal at Jericho High School, will be Schreiber’s new principal.

The process behind selecting a new principal was complicated, and there were many steps involved.  First, advertisements and resumes were placed in a database run by the administration, and the central office conducted multiple screenings of the applicants.  Eventually, the central office narrowed the candidates down to three with whom they felt comfortable with and sent responses to them.  Soon after, these three candidates were presented to a series of committees consisting of teachers, parents, and administrators, including Schreiber’s Assistant Principals and members of the Board of Education, for about an hour.  These vital committees provided feedback to Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Allen, and Dr. Chris Shields, the Assistant Superintendent for General Administration.

Students are a major part of the Schreiber community, and these committees also made sure the new principal would enact positive change for everyone.  Therefore, current interim Schreiber Principal Mr. Lewis also had input in the decision, as someone who spends his day around the Schreiber community.  The groups concentrated on what both parents and students were looking for in a leader, and they listened to the experiences of others, such as students, staff, and parents.  Ultimately, all of this information was combined together in order to choose the right person for the job.

“Feedback from students and making their voices heard was extremely important in making the decision,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Miller. 

While there is no one specific trait that makes a candidate suitable for the job, many themes did emerge from the discussions and focus groups.  The committee’s ideal candidate was one who is a good listener, one who is deeply invested in the successes of students, and one who cares about the concerns of parents and communicates effectively.

“These committees looked for a candidate that should be shaped by our experiences as educators and parents, shaped by focus groups and student voices, and be an experienced administrator who is collaborative in their approach.  Also, the leader that was looked for was an educational leader who can advocate for the needs of all students, and understand diversity in the presence of our school,” said Mr. Miller.  

After months of searching and interviewing, the decision was made. Later, it was announced that Schreiber’s next principal will be Dr. Behr. Dr. Behr earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Music Education and Violin Performance from Syracuse University.  Prior to moving to Long Island, Dr. Behr was an orchestra teacher in Fayetteville-Manlius; she then started teaching in East Meadow.  After a few years teaching, Dr. Behr shifted to an administrative role, and years later, she began working at Jericho High School as the Curriculum Associate for Fine & Performing Arts.  Dr. Behr was promoted to an Assistant Principal position at Jericho, and a short time later, was hired as Schreiber’s new principal.

“I am looking forward to making connections with students and learning more about the school community in my capacity as the Schreiber principal next year,” said Dr. Behr.

Music has always been a very important part of Dr. Behr’s life, and according to JerEcho, she started playing the violin at the age of eight and still plays to this day.  Throughout high school, Dr. Behr played in chamber quartets and led other students in sectionals.

“Hearing improvement based on my feedback and sharing my love of music with others inspired me to study music education,” said Dr. Behr in an article in the JerEcho.

In all, it seems Schreiber is excited to meet Dr. Behr in Sept.

“I have every faith that Dr. Behr will do an excellent job, and I’m excited to have her join our school community.  She is kind, collaborative, impressive, and a hard worker who’s already accomplished a great deal in her career,” said Mr. Miller.