A longtime educator from Long Island has been chosen to take over a Westchester County school district.
The Port Chester Board of Education announced that Dr. Aurelia Lucia Henriquez, who has spent nearly three decades in various positions throughout diverse Long Island school districts has been named as the new school superintendent.
Henriquez will succeed longtime superintendent Edward Kliszus in Port Chester, who announced his retirement effective at the end of the academic year. Henriquez will be introduced to the community at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, May 6, and her appointment is official on Thursday, July 1.
A Long Island native, Henriquez said she plans to "live on the Westchester side of the bridge during the workweek, so that I may fully immerse myself in the Port Chester way of life.
"I make it a priority to thank all staff for the part they play in a child’s life,” Henriquez added. ”We are all truly in this together. I like to say: Together, we are the village that it takes to raise a child.”
“Dr. Henriquez was an outstanding candidate,” Trustee Anne Capeci, chair of the Board of Education’s search committee, said. “She brings a wealth of relevant school leadership experience and an enthusiasm for serving every student as well as a passion for teaching that will be well received by our Port Chester families.”
Capeci said that Henriquez impressed committee members by “displaying a data-based approach to re-entry planning for the district in the 2021-2022 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on ensuring students and teachers have everything they need for a safe return to instruction.”
Most recently, Henriquez was superintendent of the Riverhead School District, a position she has held since 2017. Capeci noted that both Port Chester and Riverhead are among the “Harmed Suburban Five” districts, which faced serious funding challenges due to aid shortfalls restored in the most recent state budget.
The board noted that Henriquez’s experience includes working in rural, urban and suburban school communities, and she has worked with leaders in New York City and the Hempstead Union Free School District, focusing on “post-pandemic student engagement, data-driven instruction and leadership, and best practices and accelerated learning to address challenges with learning loss.”
Henriquez said that her experiences have driven her toward Port Chester and that she is eager to hit the ground running.
“Port Chester Schools have an outstanding reputation for valuing every single student and the collective diversity of the community,” Henriquez said. “Inclusive excellence is something that has always been near and dear to my heart and to my professional journey.
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