Ex-North Salem, Bedford Schools Superintendent Named To Interim Post At Garrison

A veteran educator in the Hudson Valley has been named as the interim superintendent of the Garrison Union Free School District as they search for a permanent replacement to Superintendent Laura Mitchell.

Dr. Debra Jackson.
Dr. Debra Jackson. Photo Credit: ReachedSolutions

Mitchell surprised the district when she announced in October that she will be leaving her position as of Tuesday, Dec. 31, stating that she and the district had reached an “amicable mutual agreement” regarding her exit.

In response, the Board of Education announced that Debra Jackson will serve as the interim superintendent, from Wednesday, Jan. 1 through Tuesday, June 30, as the district conducts a search for a permanent superintendent.

Jackson has been a superintendent in several area school districts and was a compact commissioner for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

“Having held superintendency positions for Highland Falls, North Salem, and Bedford school districts, Dr. Jackson comes to GUFS with a breadth and depth of experience that will greatly benefit our district,” the Board wrote in a letter to the community.

Jackson has 22 years of experience as a Superintendent of Schools in New York and New Jersey.  She has served as an educational leader in positions including Assistant Superintendent, Secondary and Elementary Principal, Director of Curriculum, and Gifted Education. 

Jackson has also published and co-authored in various journals and books on education. She was named as the 2014 National Leader of the Year for Tech and Learning.

Moving forward, the Board of Education is expected to evaluate candidates as they attempt to replace Mitchell and Jackson.

“As we move toward achieving our shared goal of making GUFS a thriving community where we can work, learn and live, the selection of a superintendent is critical,” school officials said. “The board would like to underscore the importance of your participation in this process. Your voice is vital to help inform the pursuit of exceptional candidates.”

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