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You are here: Home Section Table School News Welcome Chris Coughlin, the Next Assistant Principal at Scarsdale Middle School
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Welcome Chris Coughlin, the Next Assistant Principal at Scarsdale Middle School

ChrisCoughlinChris Coughlin will become the next Assistant Principal at Scarsdale Middle School when Larry Chatzinoff retires at the end of the school year. Coughlin, who currently works at the Bedford Schools, attend the April 8, meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Education when his appointment was announced. Coughlin is the third administrative hire to move south from Bedford along with Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick and interim Fox Meadow Principal Karen Eldon who retired as principal of Bedford Elementary School.

We asked Coughlin to tell us about himself and here is what he shared:

Tell us something about your educational and professional background.

I have worked in the Bedford Central Schools since 1999 as a teacher’s aide, and intern, a social studies teacher, a coach, a Dean of Students, and the Director of Health Physical Education and Athletics. The fifteen years I spent as a social studies teacher and a coach were among the most rewarding professionally. I hold a M.S.E. in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy from Fordham University, an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Hartwick College.

Why did you decide to make the move?

This past year was my 20th year working in the Bedford Central School District which is a place I love. To be honest I was not looking to make a move until I saw the posting for the position at SMS. I have several former colleagues and friends that work in Scarsdale and have always talked highly about the mission and vision of the district. When I started to investigate further I saw a district that states in multiple ways a great pride in helping to create balanced independent leaners and leaders. I viewed the interview process as part of my research into whether I would be a good fit for Scarsdale. At every juncture in the process I met committed professionals, invested parents, and kind and polite students. After seeing the operation and meeting the people up close the decision became an easier one. I count myself extremely fortunate to be selected as the candidate for this position.

What were your responsibilities in Bedford and will you have a similar role in Scarsdale?

My present responsibilities as the Athletic Director are diverse. To name a few I am the supervisor of health and physical education department for the school district responsible for the delivery of instruction for our 4,000 students. I oversee 60 athletic teams and 71 coaches with an annual budget of over $800,000. I help to schedule and staff over 600 athletic and community events per year.

My new role in Scarsdale will have some similarities. I will be tasked with building the master schedule for the school which will be a new challenge however my current job revolves around complex scheduling. Building leadership requires both approachability and visibility two qualities I have a great deal of experience with. Additionally, SMS’ approach is a team one between students, staff, and parents which fits with my approach toward education.

What were some of the challenges faced by the district during your tenure?

Bedford Central School District like many districts struggled with budgetary issues when the tax levy cap came into effect. We lost a good amount of teachers and support staff due to budgetary realities. Doing more (or even the same) with less is a challenge for any profession however in the educational setting the decisions made can have a direct impact on students. BCSD is in a better place financially and the new and great challenge I have been a part of has been a restoration and addition of new programs.

How does Bedford’s security system compare to Scarsdale’s? Are they also making changes to their procedures and technology?

I would say they are comparable as both Scarsdale and BCSD are guided by the same security consulting firm.

What do you look forward to in your new position in Scarsdale?

I always would tell my students that teaching is the best job in the world because in essence you get paid to learn new and exciting things and share them with students. I will be embarking on a whole new journey of learning, learning about the students and their families, learning about the community, learning about my colleagues at SMS, and learning where I can get a good lunch.

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