Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Last week, a group of 26 members of the Putnam Valley community, Board of Education, district staff, administrators, parents, and students, had the opportunity to interview the four finalists for the position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Each of the candidates brought some unique strengths, presentation skills, sophisticated models of thinking, and overarching theories and practices that guided their approach to leadership and administration. The committee articulated and appreciated the strengths that each candidate brought and could share with Putnam Valley.

At the conclusion of the dialogue, it was clear that there was a consensus about the preferred candidate for the position, Jenette Mistretta, our elementary school assistant principal. Most remarkable about the discussion was the diverse representation contributing to the consensus. There were teachers from all schools, parents, and administrators who would be working for and with Jenette. There was appreciation for her authenticity, her incredible work ethic, her ability to build trusting relationships, her focus on student achievement, her willingness to share what she had learned about IB and how to support the high school in this endeavor, and her effectiveness as a teacher who was able to take all students to high levels of achievement. To hear the high school, middle school, and elementary school teachers talk about the elementary administrator with such respect and trust was inspiring and powerful. Jenette’s candidacy was recommended to the Board of Education, and a Board interview was conducted last evening.

It is with gratitude and appreciation for all involved in this process, that we announce to the staff and community that at the next Board of Education meeting to be held on May 7, 2019, it is anticipated that Jenette Mistretta will be appointed as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Putnam Valley Central School District. Jenette has been in the District for 14 years, nine years as an elementary teacher and five years as an assistant principal. Prior to coming to Putnam Valley, Jenette was a teacher in New York City for five years. Whoever has worked with her knows that she is dedicated to the wellbeing of Putnam Valley students. We will immediately begin our search for a new elementary school assistant principal who will build on Jenette’s good work at PVES.

A screening committee had determined that four candidates should go forward following the screening interviews of 12 candidates identified after a review of over 100 resumes submitted to the District. The process for the four finalists included a formal committee interview and a presentation to committee members. In addition, each candidate prepared a writing sample that was submitted to administration. The assigned topic for the presentation was an introduction to a new teacher orientation. The four presentations were impressive, reflecting strong and varied backgrounds, and demonstrating the wide ranging skills and experiences of the candidates. The process allowed one group of interviewers facilitated by Dr. Luft to see a presentation provided by the candidate and ask three or four questions, while the second group facilitated by Dr. Doherty conducted the in-depth interviews. Dr. Luft facilitated the summary discussion by committee members of the candidates’ strengths and areas of growth. The discussion resulted in an exhaustive, probing and thoughtful dialogue that reflected the depth of consideration by the committee characterized by true civic participation and a common vision for our schools. The students on the committee inspired awe with their insightful perspective of the candidates’ attributes and their willingness to go well beyond the comfort zone in Putnam Valley to learn and grow.

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills, Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Jeremy Luft, Deputy Superintendent