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Fox Meadow Elementary School Principal and Assistant Principal To Take Positions in Briarcliff Schools

FM 90 2Fox Meadow parents learned this week that both the principal and assistant principal of Fox Meadow Elementary School will resign to move to Briarcliff Manor where Colleen Mangan will become Principal of the Todd Elementary School and Principal Duncan Wilson will be the next Director of Curriculum and Human Resources for the Briarcliff Schools. Parents received the news about Ms. Mangan last week, and only learned about Mr. Wilson’s plan in an email on Tuesday June 19.

As Drew Patrick notes in his email below, Wilson is leaving Scarsdale to fill a vacancy in Briarcliff Manor that was created when that district’s Director of Curriculum was hired away by Scarsdale to fill a similar position in Scarsdale due to the retirement of Lynne Shain.

As the Scarsdale administration will not have time to do a full scale search before September, Drew Patrick announced that the district will retain an interim principal who will be “drawn from the ranks of retired principals with experience in this region.”

The district already celebrated the retirements of tens of retiring faculty members and these departures came as a surprise. Both were very popular with kids and parents and the void will be felt.

The news makes one wonder if Wilson applied for Shain’s position? If so, we might have retained both Mr. Wilson and Ms. Mangan who might have served as Fox Meadow’s next principal.

Commenting on the departures, Fox Meadow parent Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez sent the following to the district administration:

Dear Messrs. Hagerman and Patrick,
….. I write to express my disappointment that Duncan Wilson is resigning. Of course, he deserves to pursue his career in whatever way that he chooses. No doubt he will excel wherever he goes. It is too bad that the Scarsdale school district could not have found a way to keep him.

I have had the opportunity to work with Duncan for three years on matters related to multiculturalism, since I have been a co-chair in that committee for that time period. I have found him to be incredibly global in his outlook of education matters. He is also very sensitive to the great differences in cultures and education traditions in our student body. He has also been so open-minded about changes that the Multicultural Committee has recommended on events that we run. His ideas on how we can improve multicultural events have also been very creative.

Even more important to me has been all the good guidance that he has given Brice and me on education matters related to our son and daughter. He has been very approachable on any matter related to our children, and he has also been very generous with his time.

I hope that if there is a committee to be convened to look for his replacement, that the committee really will include a diversity of parents both ethnically and professionally, who can help choose the next principal.

Below are the texts of emails from Drew Patrick and Thomas Hagerman as well as Duncan Wilson about the news:

(From Superintendent Hagerman and Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick)

Dear Parents,

We are writing once again to share some bittersweet news about one of our Administrators. Duncan Wilson, Principal of Fox Meadow Elementary school for the past nine years, has been selected as the next Director of Curriculum and Human Resources in Briarcliff, NY. Duncan was appointed by the Briarcliff Board of Education last evening, June 18. You will recall that our own appointment of Edgar McIntosh as the successor to Lynne Shain in the position of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment is the reason for the vacancy in Briarcliff. We congratulate Duncan, thank him for fifteen years of service to the District, and look forward to seeing Duncan succeed in his new leadership role!

As we wrote last week with the news of Colleen’s departure, we want to assure you that we are already in the planning stages for a search process to select a one-year Interim Principal for Fox Meadow Elementary School, most likely drawn from the ranks of retired principals with experience in this region. The two most important reasons for the decision to appoint an interim are 1) it is very late in the school year to conduct the kind of search that would cultivate a candidate pool with the depth and breadth we desire, and 2) an Interim appointment allows us to recognize and thoughtfully plan for the possibility that there may be candidates within Scarsdale that warrant due consideration for a probationary appointment in 2019-20. We are confident that we will be successful in finding an individual to serve during the 2018-19 school as Fox Meadow transitions to a new leadership team.

Finally, we want to assure you that we will be supporting Debbie Vellozzi, Fox Meadow’s secretary, Michael DeSantis, Head Custodian, and the entire staff during this transition. We look forward to sharing more as June proceeds, and to introducing a new leadership team in the coming weeks.


Dr. Thomas Hagerman
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Drew Patrick
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Leadership Development

(From Fox Meadow Elementary School Principal Duncan Wilson)

Dear Fox Meadow Families,
Last week, you heard that Mrs. Mangan will be leaving Fox Meadow for the opportunity to become the Principal of Todd Elementary Schools in Briarcliff Manor. It is with a tremendous mix of emotions that I share with you my plans to leave Fox Meadow to take on a District Office position as the Director of Curriculum and Human Resources coincidentally in Briarcliff Manor. On a professional level, I know it is time for me to pursue this new challenge. But on a personal level I am saddened to leave a community that I have served proudly and have truly grown to love.

With that said, I am heartened to know that I leave behind a faculty as well as parents and children who have the strength of tradition and of community to move forward confidently. As a student and teacher of history, I want to remind everyone that this great school thrived for 81 years before I arrived, and on the eve of our 90th birthday, it is poised to do so for years to come. I am grateful for what you have taught me and for how you have allowed me to strive to be a better educator and a better leader. In truth, schools like ours thrive because they are lead not by one person but by many. Teachers, parents, support staff, and even students lead our school proudly everyday.

On a much more practical note, I want to assure you that I will work with Dr. Patrick and the new team to ensure a smooth transition for the new FM Team this summer.

Finally, a thought about saying goodbye. I have always said at graduation, "You never really leave the Meadow." I will hold onto that thought since I really hate goodbyes. Beside, I will still be your “friendly neighbor to the North” up on Ridgecrest West. I will still do laps at the pool (look for me in lane 4), and I will still stay in touch through my village work on sustainability. So just as Christopher Robin will always have “that enchanted place on top of the Forest,” I hope to see you around the Meadow in the weeks and years ahead.

Your Friend,
Duncan Wilson

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