CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Robert Rhodes and Amy Fishkin are both two months into their principal careers in the Chappaqua Central School District, but the two have made very different transitions since taking over the positions.
The district was foreign to Rhodes, principal at Horace Greeley High School, who accepted the position in February after spending years as a principal in New York City. For Fishkin, however, her transition was a little less challenging.
“What I learned in the assistant principal position definitely prepared me for this new role,” said Fishkin, who was promoted to Roaring Brook Elementary School’s top position in May. “The relationships that I built in the last five years at Roaring Brook have really been an advantage to my transition.”
Familiarity was an advantage Rhodes didn’t have. The Ohio-native is still learning about Chappaqua after spending 21 years working in New York City public schools and most recently was the principal at Millennium High School.
“You really got to learn a lot about the people and the culture of what’s going on before you start making decisions,” he said.
Rhodes said he plans on making one-on-one time for 70 to 80 teachers, students, administrators, parents, custodians and board members for interviews throughout the school year to help him learn about the culture of the community.
“It’s been a really great process, I’ve learned a lot,” said Rhodes, who has already had more than 40 interviews. “I’ve really gotten the chance to know people and it’s given people the chance to know me.”
Despite the different paths the two have taken, both look forward to working together on reaching the same goals.
“There’s lots of conversations that happen across the administrative team,” Fishkin said. “So I feel very well-supported and feel that my journey within Chappaqua has certainly prepared me well for the role, and I’m enjoying continuing on that journey.”