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Friday, October 31, 2014
A new leader at Shaw Avenue
(Page 2 of 3)
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Amy Pernick was named the new principal of Shaw Avenue School.
School board President Carolyn Torres said that Pernick met every qualification the board set for the position. “Throughout the years, she’s proven that she has what it takes,” Torres said. “She is a very capable individual. She’s earned it.”

Torres said that during the interview with the board, Pernick exhibited a level of confidence that assured trustees that she was right for the job.

Moving through the ranks

It has been 43 years since District 30 last appointed a principal from within its own teaching ranks. In 1970, Lawrence Cid, a sixth-grade teacher at Forest Road School, took the helm at Shaw Avenue, a position he held until the late 1980s.

“This is a great message to our community, stating that we can produce these kinds of leaders here in Valley Stream,” Torres said. “We grow our own. I think the community is very excited about this.”

Pernick began her career as a substitute teacher in the district 19 years ago. She was then hired as a third-grade teacher, and also taught fourth, fifth and sixth grade over the next dozen years.

Even as a teacher, she took on leadership roles, as the principal of summer school, the coordinator of Saturday Academy and a member of the district technology committee. She also brought the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program to the district, which is designed to reduce discipline problems by encouraging and rewarding good behavior. Because of her expertise in that area, last year Pernick was tapped to serve as the district’s dignity coordinator, overseeing compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act.

About 10 years ago, Pernick earned her administrative certificate through Stony Brook University. She completed a summer internship with then-Superintendent Dr. Lawrence McGoldrick.

Pernick, who grew up in Valley Stream, attended the Robert W. Carbonaro Elementary School and South High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from York College of Pennsylvania and a master’s in reading from Adelphi University.

She will not be the only principal in her household. Her husband, Ira, heads Paul Schreiber High School in Port Washington. They have two children, Sam, 13, and Molly, 9.

Ready for the job

As assistant principal for the past five years, Pernick had on-the-job training. She did curriculum work, handled discipline and conducted teacher observations. Those responsibilities will continue, along with the added role of setting the goals and objectives for the entire building.

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