The North Shore Board of Education has selected Dr. Peter Giarrizzo as the next superintendent of the North Shore Schools, effective Aug. 21. Giarrizzo, who is currently the superintendent of schools for Pelham Public Schools in Westchester County, has held that role since July 2013; prior to being named superintendent, he was Pelham’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and personnel for two years. His experience also includes work as a director of special education.
Giarrizzo was the unanimous choice of the trustees at the end of a national search and the board would like to thank Leadership Advantage for all of their efforts in this process.
“Dr. Giarrizzo shined as the right choice to lead our district,” said board president Toni Labbate. “His dedication to educating the whole student and experience in all aspects of school management including school finance, special education and strategic planning were only some of his qualities.”
Vice president Sara Jones added, “Our entire board found him to be a careful listener and a dedicated educator.”
Giarrizzo said he is excited and honored to be selected and thanked the board of education for its confidence.
“Through the rigorous selection process it became clear to me that we share a common set of values about teaching and learning, and I’m thrilled to partner with you to continue on a strong trajectory of excellence and continuous improvement,” said Giarrizzo. “North Shore’s progressive approach to education is so well complemented by a commitment to best practice and sound pedagogy in combination with a strong sense of optimism aimed at enabling students to discover their dreams. I extend my gratitude to Dr. Melnick for the good care and fine leadership that he has provided to North Shore over the course of his many years and wish him much happiness in his retirement. The North Shore schools are exciting places for students to learn and that is clearly attributable to Dr. Melnick and his passion for our students, administration, faculty, staff, and the greater North Shore community.”
One of Giarrizzo’s goals will be to engage in a series of interviews with a wide range of school community stakeholders and residents.
“North Shore has an enormously talented faculty, staff and administration and a very supportive community,” said Giarrizzo. “I look forward to working with all these stakeholders to begin the process of formulating my entry to the community and developing a long-term strategic plan that builds on a record of success through strong communication and collaboration with the community.”
Giarrizzo’s appointment is the culmination of a rigorous, months-long process conducted by the board of education. Starting with significant input from the community on their values, the trustees went on to review 50 resumes, conduct two rounds of interviews with highly qualified candidates, researched and reviewed each before selecting Giarrizzo.
A Long Island native, Giarrizzo began his career in education at Valley Stream, where he was a special education teacher and an English teacher at the middle level and later headed the high school special education department. He then served as director of pupil services at Cold Spring Harbor and later as director of instructional services at Mount Pleasant. Immediately prior to his work in Pelham, he was the deputy superintendent in the Elmsford schools.
Giarrizzo received his doctor of education (Ed.D.) from Rutgers University, his masters of science degree in curriculum and instruction from Long Island University and his bachelor in science degree in education from SUNY Geneseo. He lives in Pelham Manor with his family.
In discussing district priorities, Giarrizzo identified the importance of maintaining excellence in student programming and expanding opportunities for equity, enrichment, differentiation and extension of learning opportunities for students at all levels, K-12.
“Fostering the qualities of respect for self and others, integrity, good citizenship, honor, intellect within a framework that supports the social-emotional development of students will be at the forefront of my work,” he said. “I plan to work to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to access the richest, most robust academic program appropriate to them, and to do this within the constraints of the tax cap legislation while protecting the District’s short, medium and long term financial position.”