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Hutchinson Elementary School Gets New Principal

Trisha Nugent Fitzgerald
Trisha Nugent Fitzgerald Photo Credit: Provided

PELHAM, N.Y. -- The Hutchinson Elementary School in Pelham will have a new principal as of July 1, district officials say.

The Board of Education confirmed on Tuesday, May 24, Schools Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo’s choice of Trisha Nugent Fitzgerald as the head of the Third Avenue school.

She will replace Cara Tarazi, who is retiring at the end of June and moving to California.

The Hutchinson PTA and Giarrizzo hosted a "meet and greet" Wednesday night, May 25, so the public could get to know Nugent Fitzgerald.

Previously, Nugent Fitzgerald was vice principal and then principal of the Vinal School in Norwell, Mass., Giarrizzo said.

She also spent more than 10 years as the technology integrator for kindergarten through fifth grades at the Chickering School in Dover, Mass.

Nugent Fitzgerald began her career in the Hudson Valley as a fourth-grade teacher at Minisink Valley Intermediate School in Slate Hill in Orange County.

A graduate of Boston College, she also holds a master’s degree in education from Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, and a certificate of advanced educational specialization from Boston College.

In a message to parents and staff, Giarrizzo said Nugent Fitzgerald was chosen after a “extensive search process” that included a committee of 25 “key Pelham stakeholders” – teachers, parents, community members, students, school board members, and administrators -- and six “rigorous interviews.”

During the interview process, Nugent Fitzgerald described her love of teaching and the enjoyment she gets from the amazement on a student’s face when he or she finally “gets it.”

Dana Gentile, a fifth-grade teacher and chairwoman of the Hutchinson teacher committee, also had kind words for Nugent Fitzgerald.

Citing her many years of experience, her “energetic and positive approach” to teaching, learning and leadership, Gentile said the new principal will “fit right into our amazing community.”

Community being the key word, Nugent Fitzgerald said she will depend on collaboration between educators, parents, and others to ensure that students succeed.

“It takes more than one person to teach a child,” she said, adding that Pelham “is a district that holds sacred such partnerships.”

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