PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Based on my recommendation and the recommendation of the High School Principal, Ms. Intrieri, the Board of Education appointed Christopher O’Connor as the Putnam Valley High School Assistant Principal at last night’s Board Meeting.

After a comprehensive hiring process, including review of 170 resumes and screening of 30 promising applicants, vetting by an 18 member committee interview (including staff, students, community, and parents) and a public forum centered on presentations by three finalists on the topic of bullying in high schools, we are looking forward to Mr. O’Connor as the successor to Mr. Odell who will return to his position as High School music teacher and band director.

Christopher O’Connor articulated a forward thinking philosophy on the role of the assistant principal in the areas of student relationships and discipline as a part of the learning process.   He focused on developing a culture that inspires fairness and dignity for all students and staff.  Mr. O’Connor’s experience as Dean of Students at the Croton-Harmon High School provided insights into how to handle administrative tasks while building relationships with students, supporting rigorous instructional goals, and raising expectations for student achievement.  His discussion on bullying as an issue in high schools revealed his sophisticated and mature approach to creating an evidence-based and well-argued case for prioritizing school prevention and interventions so that all children can learn in a safe environment. 

Modeling the application of technology for instructional purposes, Mr. O’Connor demonstrated knowledge of current cell phone and computer apps that teenagers access in their social media networking, and presented a cogent discussion of how to best address the issues of digital citizenship as a part of our educational process. He noted that in his research for the presentation, he had found the work of our high school library media-specialist as an example of a way to communicate the importance of digital citizenship training for students, staff and community.

The forum was well attended, and feedback provided some perspective on Mr. O’Connor’s strengths:  “He has a clear idea about what to do to make a difference;” he displayed  “great attitude toward how to deal with the Internet;” he “shared a lot of wisdom” was “well spoken;” and “I can truly picture Chris as being fair, understanding, and interested in every student.”

We hope you will join us in welcoming Chris O’Connor to the Putnam Valley schools and community.


Dr. Frances Wills

Superintendent of Schools