Public Schools for Tomorrow
where we come from
 
Founding Members
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Thomas Sobol (President)
Tom Sobol

Professor Sobol is the founding Christian A. Johnson Professor of Outstanding Educational Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds an A.B. and A.M. from Harvard University and an Ed. D. from Teachers College.

After teaching and supervising in Massachusetts and New York State, he served for sixteen years as Superintendent of Schools in Scarsdale, New York and for eight years as Commissioner of Education in New York State. He has also been active nationally, chairing the board of the New Standards Project and serving on the executive committee of the Council of Chief State School Officers. He is the author of Your Child in School (a book for parents) and numerous articles in education publications, including an article entitled Beyond Standards: The Rest of the Agenda in the Teachers College Record.

Dr. Sobol is currently Emeritus Christian A. Johnson Professor of Outstanding Ed. Practice at Teachers College where he teaches courses in education policy and ethics. He has spoken on a wide variety of education issues throughout the United States and England. In 1996 Dr. Sobol received the Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education; he has also received several awards from Teachers College for excellence in teaching.

 

Marya Levenson (Vice President)
Marya Levenson

Dr. Marya Levenson is the Harry S. Levitan Director of the Teacher Education Program and Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass. Dr. Levenson was Superintendent of the North Colonie, New York Schools from 1990-2001 and a member of the Executive Committee of the NYS Committee of School Superintendents from 1997-2001. Dr. Levenson began her career as an educator as a history teacher in a Boston junior high school in 1971. While she was working in the Boston Public Schools, Dr. Levenson had an opportunity to work with a team of educators to create Madison Park High School, a magnet high school. She later served as a Staff Associate to the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools.

After her work in the Boston Public Schools, Dr. Levenson earned her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was Assistant Director of the Harvard Principals’ Center from 1981-82. She became Principal of Newton North High School in Newton, Mass. In 1982 and served there until 1990 when she became superintendent of the North Colonie School District. The Capital District Association of Women Administrators chose Dr. Levenson as Administrator of the Year in 1994-95. The New York Council of School Superintendents recognized her service to NY students and schools in 1999. In May 2000, she was selected as one of the 100 Women of Excellence “ who have bravely pioneered change in the community within the last 100 years” by the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Marya Levenson teaches courses about education and social policy, and teaching in secondary schools at Brandeis University. As Director of the Brandeis Education Program, she has initiated a new Education Studies major and minor, and a Master of Arts (MAT) for elementary and secondary teachers. Marya received the 2008 Louis Dembitz Brandeis Award for Excellence in Teaching.  She also serves on the national Advisory Board of the Harvard Education Letter.

Gibran Majdalany (Secretary)
Gibran Majdalany

Dr. Majdalany has been affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University since 1980, and served for many years as the deputy director of both the Superintendents Work Conference, and the Inquiry in Educational Leadership Ed.D program. At the present time he is the Special Adviser for Student Services and Technology Support, and has been also an Adj. Associate Professor in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Kansas; and his M.A., M.Ed., M.Phil, and Ed.D. degrees in Educational Administration from Teachers College.

Dr. Majdalany’s expertise is in the area of staff development, information systems, implementation of integrated technology in education, distance learning, youth culture, program evaluation, action research, and system dynamics in education. One of his latest articles, “Implementing Distance Learning in Urban Schools,” appeared in the ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education # 150. He is currently teaching “Information Systems” in the Inquiry program at Teachers College, and has been conducting district-wide workshops at school districts in New Jersey and New York, instructing teachers on ways to bring the Internet into the classroom and to integrate it with curriculum.

He has conducted seminars and made presentations on technology and education at several conferences in New York and elsewhere. The most recent was a conference in Mexico City on “Motivation and Educational Achievement, The Technology Perspective,” where he was the keynote speaker at the “Instituciones De Ensenanza Particular De La Republica Mexica, A. C.,” an organization for independent and private schools in Mexico. He made presentations on Distance Learning at the annual convention of the Near East and South Asian Council of the American Overseas Schools in Cairo, Egypt, and also in the US Island of St. John in the Caribbean. He also conducted an assessment of the educational division and programs at the American University of Beirut.

William Foley (Treasurer)
Bill Foley

Bill Foley is the Superintendent of the Westfield Public School District in Westfield, New Jersey. He has held this position for ten years. The Westfield Public School District is a suburban district of approximately 6000 students and 550 staff members.

Bill earned his Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University. Bill has been struggling with how to maintain excellence as property taxes in New Jersey continue to soar. While the community has publicly committed to closing the achievement gap much work needs to be done.

 

Liza Bearman
Liza Berman

Dr. Liza Bearman is currently a full-time faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is a Lecturer, Advisor and University Supervisor as well as a Mentor for the Peace Corps Fellows Program and a Curriculum Consultant with TC's Student Press Initative. She is also a Consultant with Stanford University's School Redesign Network.

Her work and interests are embedded in the areas of urban education, new teacher preparation, equity, and school change, particularly within the small schools movement. She has many years of experience in different facets of education, including directing an Intern Program for high school and college students for a U.S. Senator in DC, teaching high school English and Social Studies in New York City and in Los Angeles, and serving as the Assistant Director of a new small high school in Los Angeles. Most recently, from 2002-2006, Liza worked primarily with new small secondary schools in New York City (mainly in the Bronx) focusing on new teacher support, curriculum and assessment design and implementation, and new small school development.

Martin Brooks
martin Brooks

Martin Brooks is currently Director of the Tri-State Consortium, a learning organization devoted to assisting its member public school districts in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey in using student performance data to develop a rigorous framework for systemic planning, assessment, accreditation, and continuous improvement.
Martin previously served as superintendent in Plainview-Old Bethpage, the Valley Stream Central High School District, Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen, and Kings Park, New York. Previous to these positions, he worked in the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District as a principal, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent. He began his career in New York City Community School District #8 in the South Bronx as a teacher and guidance counselor.

Marty received his Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree from New York University, and he earned another Master's degree and a Doctorate in educational administration at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a past president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, and has served as the chairperson of the Council's Curriculum Committee and was the founder of its Committee on Equity and Access.

Marty is the co-author of one of ASCD's best-selling books, In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. He has authored numerous articles and monographs, has presented at local, state and national conferences, and has consulted with many school districts and state departments of education. He serves on the boards of the Long Island Children's Museum, the Metropolitan School Study Council, the Tri-State Consortium, and Hofstra University's Institute for the Development and Education of the Advanced Sciences, and is a member of the National Superintendents' Roundtable.

John Chambers

John Chambers has seen public schools from the inside perspectives of student, teacher of history and English, principal, and superintendent across four decades of service. He currently looks in from the outside lens of superintendent search consultant, advisor to aspiring leaders, and seminar leader for high school principals.

The ideals of the Progressive Education movement, the more recent efforts of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and the immense challenges confronting public education in the years ahead come together in his conviction that the enduring ideals of public schooling in America still have relevance, and indeed must light the way.

Carol Choye
Carol Choye

After serving as Superintendent of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools in Scotch Plains, New Jersey for ten years, Carol Choye is now the Director of the School District Leadership Program at Bank Street College.  She is also assisting Dr. Sobol help build Public Schools for Tomorrow.

Among Dr. Choye's considerable areas of expertise are the role of the superintendent as instructional leader, the importance of developing, implementing, and annually reassessing a strategic plan that focuses on students becoming life long learners, and the importance of a cyclical review process for curriculum, instruction, and assessment that takes into consideration the life long learning of students and teachers. Dr. Choye earned her Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco

Charles Fowler
Charles Fowler

Dr. Charles Fowler, President of School Leadership, LLC, retired as Superintendent of Schools in Hewlett, New York in June 2004. He holds Bachelor and Master's degrees from the University at Albany and a Doctorate from Columbia University. He served as a superintendent of schools for thirty-five years. Prior to assuming his position in Hewlett, Dr. Fowler served as District Superintendent for Nassau County, the largest supervisory district in New York State. He also held the Superintendent’s position in Sarasota County, Florida (1985-1995), Fairfield, Connecticut (1976-1985) and DeKalb, Illinois (1969-1976).

Dr. Fowler has been the recipient of many honors from national and international scholarly and service organizations. In 1989, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop for his work in support of school children with AIDS. In 1991, Dr. Fowler was named to serve on the Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability, which had been charged by the Legislature with restructuring the governance and outcomes of the public schools of Florida. Since returning to New York, Dr. Fowler has been named as New York’s Educator of the Year by the New York Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and by Phi Delta Kappa. He has also been awarded the 1997 Children's Champion Award by the Coalition for Child Care of Nassau County and, in 1999 received the Distinguished Service Award of the Nassau-Suffolk School Board Association. In 2005, he was selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award of the American Association of School Administrators for “bringing honor to his profession, his colleagues, and himself.” Dr. Fowler is an Adjunct Professor of School Organization and Leadership at Columbia University and recently received the Outstanding Educator Award of the Alumni Association of the University at Albany.

He is the author of more than 55 books, monographs and articles published in journals and the national press, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Fowler has been listed in Who's Who in America. He and his wife, Yolanda, have three married children and four grandchildren.

Phyllis Glassman
Charles Fowler

Dr. Phyllis Glassman is the Superintendent of Schools in the Ossining School District in New York where she promotes equity and excellence in a diverse multicultural district. As current Superintendent and previously as Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Glassman has contributed to the development of the District’s Long Range Plans, efforts to eradicate the achievement gap, initiatives related to cultural competence, curriculum development, program reviews and audits, community engagement, a birth through three year old child family literacy program, the Diversity Self-Study Research Project, and professional development, among other initiatives.

In addition to her commitment to the children, staff, families, and community of Ossining, Dr. Glassman currently serves as Chairperson of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) Committee on Assessment. Recently she was appointed to serve on the New York State Regents Standards Review Steering Committee as well. Dr. Glassman’s dissertation earned the H. Alan Robinson outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Other recognitions have included the NYSCOSS Appreciation Award as well as the New York State English Council Teacher/Administrator of Excellence Award, among others. On a regular basis Dr. Glassman presents at regional, statewide, and national conferences. Additionally she has authored and co-authored numerous articles published in professional journals.

Prior to arriving in Ossining, Dr. Glassman served as the Coordinator and Associate for Instruction in the Bay Shore School District and taught in several public school districts in New York State as well as at Hofstra University. Education is her love and passion with “Children First” as her mantra. As implicit in the title of Public Schools For Tomorrow, Dr. Glassman demonstrates her commitment each and every day to the power and promise of public schools to educate all students to high standards.

Renee Gargano
Renee Gargano

Ms. Gargano has over 30 years of experience as an administrator for the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES and she currently serves as the deputy superintendent. Renée has served in a variety of roles during her years at BOCES to include: Coordinator of special programs, assistant director for technical and occupational education, director for technical and occupational education, assistant superintendent for human resources and was appointed as deputy superintendent in 1995.

Renée holds degrees in Special Education and Masters in Counselor Education from Boston University and a professional diploma in school administration and a certificate in labor relations’ studies from the Cornell University Graduate School of Labor Relations. In 2007 Ms.Gargano completed the Teachers College Education Policy Fellowship program.

On two occasions, Renee Gargano was named as Woman of Distinction by the Westchester Women’s News and served as president of the Lower Hudson Council of School Personnel Administrators. She has been recognized by the Westchester, Putnam and Rockland County Counseling Association and received an “Excellence in Administration” award from the Mid-Hudson School Study Council.

Ms. Gargano is known throughout the region for her development and implementation of many innovative programs that serve students and school districts. A few examples of Ms. Gargano’s programs include: Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT), The On-line Application System for Educators (OLAS), Future School Administrators Academy in partnership with Teachers College, Columbia University, Future School leaders Academy in partnership with Bank Street College ,Come Teach with Us Academy for aspiring science, mathematics and language teachers in cooperation with Pace University, and the development of an Executive Leadership Program for aspiring superintendents in partnership with Fordham University. In 2006 Ms. Gargano launched the new Center For Educational Leadership which now serves over 200 administrators from sixty school districts.

Judith Johnson
Judith Johnson
Judith Johnson was appointed superintendent of schools for the Peekskill City School District on September 1, 2001, becoming the first woman and African-American to serve as the City’s school superintendent. Previously, Ms. Johnson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and later, Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education under President Bill Clinton, where she aided in the development of national policy addressing the educational needs of America’s 51 million students. Ms. Johnson is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators, the national organization of professional school district leaders. She also serves as co-chair of the New York Council’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee and previously served as a member of the Council’s Executive Committee. Judith Johnson has been named the 2008 New York State School Superintendent of the Year in recognition of her leadership. In 2004, Ms. Johnson attained passage of a $59 million bond referendum to replace an outdated middle school which required a "supermajority" of the public's vote. In the past five years, Peekskill City School district has been cited twice as a "most improved district" by the State Department of Education. She also led in the formation of the Peekskill Education Foundation.

Spike Jorgenson
Spike Jorgenson

Spike is the Executive Director of "Citizens for the Educational Advancement of Alaska Children", and the Director of "Horace Mann League", he is also a Founding Member, and the Executive Secretary and Past President of the "Century Club", he was Alaska Superintendent of the Year and National Superintendent of the Year finalist, and has also many other distinguished accomplishments.

Dr. Jorgensen recently concluded 24 years in the superintendency as the longest tenured superintendent in Alaska. He has served as a superintendent, principal and teacher in South Dabota, Wyoming and Alaska, as well as continuous service as an adjunct professor at the Universities of Wyoming and Alaska.

 

Paul Kelleher
Paul Kelleher

Dr. Kelleher serves as the Norine R. Murchison Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Trinity University. Prior to joining the Trinity faculty last year, Kelleher served for the 20 years as a Superintendent of Schools in Bedford and Lawrence, New York and in Westport, Connecticut. Prior to these appointments, he also served as Principal of Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale, N.Y., as a high school teacher and administrator, and as a middle school principal. He has also served as a Distinguished Lecturer at Sacred Heart University and as a faculty member in the Center for Leadership Development at SUNY-Purchase. In 1996, Kelleher received the Golden Shield Award from the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, their highest leadership award. He was also nominated by his Board of Education for Superintendent of the Year.

Kelleher’s scholarly interests include the development and implementation of educational policy, the organization and administration of schools, as well as teacher recruitment, preparation and retention. He is also the co-author of a book on the entry and start-up of new school administrators and the author of numerous articles that have appeared in professional periodicals, magazines and newspapers.

During his career, Kelleher has served as President or Chair of a number of professional groups in the New York metropolitan area, including the Tri-State Standards Consortium. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Society for the Study of Education.

Kelleher graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in English, He holds an M.A.T. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an Ed.D. in educational administration from Teachers’ College-Columbia University.

Michael McGill
Michael McGill

Michael V. McGill has served as Superintendent of the Scarsdale Public Schools, Scarsdale New York, since 1998.  A graduate of Williams College and Harvard University, he was previously a superintendent on Long Island and in Massachusetts.  He was also an independent school headmaster in New Haven, CT. and head of a compensatory education program in Lebanon, NH.  He has been a school and other non-profit organization trustee and was named New York State superintendent of the year in 2007.


Rich Noonan
Rich Noonan

Dr. Richard Noonan assumed Madison's Superintendent of Schools position in October, 2004. Prior to coming to Madison, Dr. Noonan served as Superintendent of the Somerset Hills Schools in Bernardsville from 1993-2000, and Superintendent of the Rumson Schools from 2000-2004. He holds a BA degree in American Civilization from Brown University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Duke University, and Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Noonan began his career in education as a history teacher in the Greenwich, Connecticut public schools, moving on to become the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Rye, New York. He is a past Fellow in the New York City Urban Fellows Program, where he served as a Special Assistant to the Chancellor of Schools. In the course of completing his doctorate at Columbia Dr. Noonan spent a semester of study at the University of London's Institute of Education.

Dr. Noonan has recently served as President of the Rutgers-based New Jersey School Development Council, a professional development partnership of ninety high performing New Jersey school districts. He is currently a member of the National Superintendent's Roundtable, and a founding trustee of Public Schools for Tomorrow. He is a past presenter at the Oxford University International Educator's Roundtable, and the National School Boards Association Annual Conference. Dr. Noonan has served as an Adjunct Professor of Education at Caldwell College since 1994.

Dr. Noonan and his wife Pamela Noonan are residents of Chatham. His daughter Brooke attends the Chatham Public Schools, and his daughter Kendra is a student at Bucknell University.

 

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson
Oliver Robinson

Dr. Oliver Robinson and his wife, Tammy are the parents of two wonderful sons (Oliver and Erik), and a beautiful daughter (Geneive).

Dr. Robinson currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Shenendehowa Central School District.  Prior to that, he served in a similar capacity for the Mohonasen Central School District. Additionally, has served as an Adjunct Faculty for the College at St. Rose and the University at Albany- instructing graduate level courses in education administration and school finance. Dr. Robinson is frequently asked to offer opinion and advice on various state level policies pertaining to leadership, and to the financing of public schools in New York. He is a staunch advocate for students and a strong proponent of equity and equality of access to quality education for all students.
    Dr. Robinson received his Bachelor of Arts degree with dual majors in Business Economics, and Organizational Behavior & Management from Brown University in 1991. He received a Masters degree (MS- 1994) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D. - 1996) in Education Administration- School Finance from the University at Albany. Robinson is a member of various professional associations and community-related groups. He is the current President-elect for the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Dr. Robinson is scheduled to become the first African American President of that state-wide organization.
   “We all have different talents, and as leaders for learning it is our professional, moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that all children have the opportunity and support to discover and develop their respective talent. Education is the passport to the future.  The better the education, the further our children can hope to go. I am truly blessed to be a part of the profession of molding minds and shaping the future,” said Robinson, as he reflected on his life so far. 

Robert Roelle
Robert Roelle

Dr. Robert Roelle is currently the Superintendent of Katonah-Lewisboro Schools, NY.  Before going to Katonah-Lewisboro, he served as the Superintendent of schools in Ossining, NY for 15 years.  Prior to his service in Ossining, he spent 14 years as a school administrator in Bay Shore, Long Island, and 13 years as an educator in Illinois. While in Ossining, Dr. Roelle helped create an educational culture where teachers and administrators are encouraged to be leaders, he oversaw the growth of honors and college-level offerings at the high school, he launched a broad-based initiative to close the achievement gap, and he strengthened the district’s commitment to staff development, among many other accomplishments.

Robert’s areas of expertise include addressing the achievement gap. He earned his Ed. D. from Loyola University in Chicago.

 

Mort Sherman
Mort Sherman

Dr. Mort Sherman bio information coming soon.