Meet The New Principals And Assistant Principals

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Four new principals and four new assistant principals started in the Great Neck Public Schools (GNPS) this fall. The principals are Luciana Bradley at Saddle Rock School, Dr. Gina Cartolano at South Middle School, Dr. Michael Grimaldi at E.M. Baker School and Kathleen Murray at Parkville School. The assistant principals are Michelle Bell at J.F. Kennedy School, Sara Goldberg at Saddle Rock School and Leonard DiBiase and Ryan Nadherny at South Middle School.

South Middle

South Middle School started the school year with a new administrative team. While all three administrators are new to their positions, two are already familiar to South Middle students, staff and families.

Following the retirement of Dr. James Welsch, Dr. Gina Cartolano, who served as the South Middle assistant principal for the past 12 years, has become the new South Middle principal. Joining her are two new assistant principals, Ryan Nadherny and Leonard DiBiase. Since 2011, Nadherny has served as the South Middle guidance department chairperson. DiBiase comes to the GNPS from the Lindenhurst Union Free School District.

Dr. Gina Cartolano

Dr. Gina Cartolano is the new principal of South Middle.

In her welcome back letter to parents, Cartolano shared that she brings a “high level of enthusiasm and dedication” to her new position as principal of South Middle.

“I am truly excited to begin my new role as principal of Great Neck South Middle School—a place that I have been fortunate enough to call my home for the past 12 years in the role of assistant principal,” said Cartalano. “I am very proud of our accomplishments at South Middle and look forward to many more in the 2018–19 school year.”

Prior to her arrival at South Middle in 2006, Cartolano served as a middle school assistant principal for two years in Plainview-Old Bethpage. She is also an accomplished linguist and foreign language teacher, proficient in Spanish and Italian. Cartolano chaired the department of languages at Mepham High School and Grand Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District from 2001–04. Prior to that, she was a foreign language educator at Mepham High School from 1996–04.

Cartolano received a Doctor of Education in Leadership Practice from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds a Professional Diploma in Educational Administration from Long Island University; a Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University; a Master of Arts in Italian Literature from the University of Connecticut; and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Italian and Psychology, from Boston College.

Ryan Nadherny

Ryan Nadherny is one of two new assistant principals at South Middle.

For the past 11 years, Nadherny has worked in the GNPS, serving as the South Middle guidance department chairperson and as a guidance counselor at North Middle.

“In my role as guidance department chairperson, I established strong collaborative relationships with South Middle’s incredible staff, parents and students,” said Nadherny. “I am thrilled to continue to be a part of the South Middle School family in my new role and to collaborate with these stakeholders to continue to foster the social, emotional and academic development of all students​.”

Prior to working in Great Neck, Nadherny was a guidance counselor at Uniondale High School from 2006–07 and St. Edmund Preparatory High School in Brooklyn in 2006.

Nadherny holds an Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership from the College of Saint Rose. He earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Counseling, a Master of Science in Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from SUNY Albany.

Leonard DiBiase

Leonard DiBiase is one of two new assistant principals at South Middle.

DiBiase previously worked in the Lindenhurst Union Free School District for 15 years. For the past two years, he served as the coordinator of career and technical education and library media services in Lindenhurst. Prior to that, he was an interim principal at Albany Avenue Elementary School from 2015–16 and an assistant principal at Lindenhurst Middle School from 2009–15. He has eight years of classroom experience as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, specializing in math, science and language arts.

DiBiase said that he is “very impressed with the opportunities the Great Neck community offers its students,” and he is “excited to be a part of this wonderful school district.”

DiBiase holds an Advanced Certificate in School District Leadership and an Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership from Dowling College. He earned his Master of Science in Computers and Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, from Long Island University.

Saddle Rock

This school year, Saddle Rock School welcomed a new principal and a new assistant principal. Principal Luci Bradley, however, is not new to the school as she served as the assistant principal there for 12 years. Sara Goldberg is new to the district.

Luciana Bradley

Luciana Bradley became the Saddle Rock principal.

In a welcome letter to Saddle Rock parents, Bradley said that it has been “an honor to be a part of the Saddle Rock community for over a decade,” and she is humbled to serve in her new role.

“As principal, it is important to me that Saddle Rock staff, parents and students become partners in this journey that we have embarked upon,” said Bradley. “We want every Saddle Rocker to become the very best person he or she can be, to live the very best lives they can live and to contribute as best as they can to their families, schools, communities and our world.”

Bradley is well-acquainted with the Saddle Rock School community, having served as the assistant principal there since 2005. Previously, she was assistant principal at the Maplewood Intermediate School in Huntington Station. For 10 years prior, she was a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at the Signal Hill Elementary School in Dix Hills.

Bradley holds a Professional Diploma in Administration and Supervision from Queens College. She earned a Master of Science in Educational Technology from Long Island University and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Adelphi University.

Sara Goldberg

Sara Goldberg is the new Saddle Rock School assistant principal.

For the past five years Goldberg served as the assistant principal at P.S. 161 in Queens. Prior to that, she was a staff developer and testing coordinator at the school for six years.

Goldberg joins GNPS “with great enthusiasm and pride,” and she is eager to work alongside Principal Bradley, students, staff, parents and community members “to honor the traditions and history that make Saddle Rock such a wonderful learning community.”

In addition to her administrative experience, she has six years of classroom experience as a fourth-grade teacher in P.S. 50 and P.S. 161 in Queens and a special-education teacher assistant at Garden City Middle School.

Goldberg holds an Advanced Certificate in school education leadership and administration from Long Island University. She earned a Master of Science in Literary Studies from Queens College and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University.

Parkville

Following the retirement of Debra Shalom, Parkville School welcomed Kathleen Murray, who served as the assistant principal at John F. Kennedy School since September 2014, as
its principal.

Kathleen Murray

Parkville School welcomed Kathleen Murray as principal.

Murray said that she is excited to collaborate with the Parkville families, teachers and staff “to ensure that our students have the very best early-childhood experience. Together we will build on the wonderful traditions and rich programs that have already been established at the Parkville Early Childhood Center.”

Before joining the GNPS, Murray was the assistant principal at the Munsey Park Elementary School for grades K to 6 in the Manhasset School District. From 2000–12, she was a special-education and general-education teacher at Munsey Park for grades 4 to 5.

Concurrently, from 2002–07, Murray was an adjunct professor in the Adelphi University Graduate School of Literacy Education.

She was a special-education and general-education teacher for grades 2 to 4 in the Carmel Central School District from 1984–87 and from 1990–2000.

Murray holds an Educational Leadership Post-Master’s Advanced Graduate Certificate from Stony Brook University, a Master of Science Reading Consultant from Western Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Science Special Education, Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She holds Permanent Certification as a Teacher of Special Education for grades K to 12 and a Teacher of Elementary Education for nursery to grade 6. Murray is also certified as a School Building Leader.

John F. Kennedy

Following Murray’s promotion from assistant principal at John F. Kennedy School to Parkville principal, Michelle Bell, who has nine years of elementary teaching experience at the district’s E.M. Baker School, is filling the assistant principal vacancy.

Michelle Bell

Michelle Bell is the new assistant principal at John F. Kennedy School.

For the 2017–18 school year, Bell was the assistant principal at the Stewart School for grades 2 to 5 in Garden City.

Prior to that, she was a classroom teacher for seven years at E.M. Baker, where she taught first and fifth grade classes from 2010–17, and a technology teaching assistant from 2008–10. Bell also has administrative experience as an interim assistant principal at Baker School during the summer of 2016.

“I am deeply honored and truly excited to be returning to the Great Neck Public Schools,” said Bell. “I am committed to working in a partnership with Mr. Gimondo, the students, the parents and the staff to nurture the academic, social and emotional development of each of our students. I am thrilled and privileged to be a part of this wonderful community.”

Prior to working in Great Neck in 2008, she was a fifth-grade teacher at Elk Neck Elementary School in Elkton, MD, from 2006–08.

Bell earned her Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership and her Master of Science in Educational Technology from Long Island University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. She holds Professional Certification as a Teacher of Childhood Education for grades 1 to 6, Teacher of Mathematics for grades 9 to 12 and Educational Technology Specialist for grades K–12. Bell is also certified as a School Building Leader.

E.M Baker

Following the retirement of Sharon Fougner, E.M. Baker School welcomes Michael Grimaldi as its new principal.

Dr. Michael Grimaldi

Dr. Michael Grimaldi is the new principal at E.M. Baker School.

For the 2017–18 school year, Grimaldi served as the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at the Eastport-South Manor Central School District. For the five years prior, he was an interim elementary principal and an elementary assistant principal in the Southampton Union Free School District. From 2006–11, Grimaldi was an assistant principal and an elementary CSE chairperson in the Bay Shore Union Free School District. He was also a special-education teacher for students with autism at the Lake Grove School.

Grimaldi said he has found E.M. Baker School “to be a place filled with positivity, teamwork and a genuine passion for educating children.” He looks forward to collaborating and building relationships with Baker’s students, faculty, staff and parents, adding: “I am proud to call E.M. Baker School my new home.”

Since 2014, he has served as a trainer and lecturer at Columbia University, Teachers College, where he works closely with new teachers and school leaders.

Grimaldi earned a Doctor of Education in School Administration, Leadership and Research from Dowling College. He holds a Master of Art in Literacy from the Columbia University Teachers College and a Master of Science in Education from Hofstra University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from New York Institute of Technology. Grimaldi also has a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Hofstra University.

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