Rob Schliessman has been named the new principal of the Kensico School located in Valhalla, according to Valhalla Union Free School District officials.
Schliessman will be officially appointed by the district's school board during their meeting on Tuesday, June 6, and will start on Saturday, July 1. He will be taking over the position from the longtime principal Matt Curran, who will be retiring at the end of the school year.
According to district officials, Schliessman already has plenty of experience in leading a school and has been the assistant principal of Cottage Lane Elementary School in South Orangetown for the past six years.
There, he improved internal communications in the building, helped create a positive culture for teachers, and prioritized family involvement by developing family engagement nights, district officials said.
He has also held the position of interim principal at William O. Schaefer Elementary School in Orangetown, in addition to 12 years at The Anderson School in Manhattan where he was a teacher, athletic director, and assistant principal.
Now that he is coming to Valhalla, he said that he is determined to maintain the school's level of quality while also finding ways for the school to grow.
"Together, we want to maintain the legacy of excellence that’s currently in place," Schliessman said, adding, "This is an opportunity for growth, which is really important to me. I want to support students and staff members in being successful. We want to maintain creative, new ideas."
Additionally, Schliessman also said he wants to build enrichment programs and extracurricular activities.
"I want to continue what’s in place at Kensico and build on student and teacher interests," he said, continuing, "We’ll find passions and move ahead from there. It will be a priority in my work at Kensico.”
Superintendent Kevin McLeod praised Schliessman and said he is the right fit for the job.
"Dr. Schliessman embodies all the qualities that Valhalla wants in its next Kensico School principal," McLeod said.
"He is skilled in leadership, communication, organization, and goal setting. Most importantly, he prioritizes relationships with students, staff members, families, and the community," McLeod continued.
Schliessman holds a bachelor's degree in physical and health education from Adelphi University as well as a master’s in education administration and supervision from Baruch College.
He also earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Manhattanville College in August 2022, where he focused on researching student mental health at the upper elementary level and how teachers can support their students in the best ways.
Schliessman and his wife now live in Westchester with their two daughters.
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