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District announces changes in leadership: current high school principal moves to district administrative team, new principal hired for WVHS

on August 24, 2015

 Welcome to the new principal of Warwick Valley High School, Dr. Larry Washington!

On August 8, former high school principal Richard Linkens became the district’s Director of School Operations, and Dr. Larry Washington began as Warwick’s new high school principal.

In his new role, Mr. Linkens has increased responsibilities, working directly with all students, teachers, principals and central administration. “Mr. Linkens will be a vital member of the district’s administrative team, focusing on initiatives that increase student engagement in the classroom,” said Dr. Leach, Superintendent of Schools.

“I’m excited to hit the ground running in my new position,” said Linkens, who has served as high school principal the past four years. “Having worked previously as the Director of Academic Intervention Services, Social Studies and English, I look forward to getting back to focusing more on learning. Increasing student engagement in the classroom for all students is crucial in the teaching and learning of 21st Century skills.”

“We are about to embark on some exciting times in the Warwick Valley Central School District,” commented Dr. Leach. “Our renewed focus on 21st Century learning, instructional technology, and authentic assessment and leadership are all strengths Mr. Linkens brings to the table. This reorganization is necessary to truly support our faculty and students with these initiatives. The realignment better positions the entire school district for continuous, collaborative improvement of instruction and leadership.”

Dr. Larry Washington is the new Principal of Warwick Valley High School. For the past 10 years, Dr. Washington served in the capacity of high school principal and assistant principal in Rockland County. Dr. Washington earned his Masters degree and Administrative certification from Mercy College in Westchester County and his Doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University in New York.

“I’m thrilled to begin as Principal of Warwick Valley High School, where I plan to focus on creating a school climate that educates and supports learning for all students,” said Washington. “I look forward to a collaborative leadership that works to improve instruction and fosters students’ creativity in the classroom.”

About the interview process: “We met several high quality administrative candidates the past few weeks,” said Warwick Valley Teachers’ Association President Carlos Barquero. “The teachers on the interview team agreed Dr. Washington was a stand-out among them. He is highly regarded by his Rockland County colleagues as an excellent high school leader, so we are excited to have him as our new principal.”

“While Dr. Washington has big shoes to fill at the high school,” said Dr. Leach, “he is a highly successful, experienced high school administrator who demonstrates a strong ethic of care for all students. His leadership style is to reach out, collaborate, delegate, and empower students, faculty and staff. I believe students and parents will find Dr. Washington to be a patient, attentive listener who will be highly visible in the school and at events. I know he will receive a warm welcome and generous support from the high school community as he takes on this new role.”

“Board of Education members have met Dr. Washington,” said Board President Lynn Lillian, “and we all agree he’ll be a wonderful addition to our administrative team.”
Although Dr. Washington is new to the district, his appointment does not add to the overall number of district administrators. Last school year a fourth administrator joined the high school to support New York State-mandated teacher observation. The high school can now return to three administrators, as Mr. Linkens’ new role includes supporting schools in the teacher observation area.

Mr. Linkens and Dr. Washington spent significant time planning this summer to ensure a smooth transition. Both assumed their new roles on August 8th.

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