Press Releases

March 25, 2003
Two Southampton College Administrators Serve in "Principal For a Day" Program

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While the debate continues about the country's public education system, two Southampton College administrators have signed on to serve in the New York City "Principal For a Day" program to broaden their own understanding about educational achievement through the power of first-hand experience. Rory Shaffer-Walsh, Director of Admissions, and Victoria Colina-Brunn?, Assistant to the Dean of Students, will rise early on April 3 and May 1 and take their posts at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows and Samuel Tilden High School in Brooklyn, respectively. The program, sponsored by the PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement) organization, helps create an awareness and understanding of the issues facing education today. Shaffer-Walsh, a resident of Patchogue, will team up with Francis Lewis High School's principal Catherine Kalina for the day. She looks forward to the opportunity to become an ?insider? and learn what makes the school, consistently ranked among the top 10 high schools in the city, and its students succeed. "I hope to gain information on how we can share our strengths by working together for professional development, student development and outreach opportunities," she said.

Colina-Brunne will work closely with Tilden's principal to outline plans to expand the Future Teachers Academy at the school, an important link between the school district and the community that prepares students for college, encourages service learning, and provides a venue for increased self-esteem and career exploration.

"I believe it is imperative that members of the community do whatever they can to support education," said Colina-Brunne, a Hampton Bays resident. "I see this program as an opportunity to share experiences, collaborate and build partnerships to strengthen programming for children from all walks of life."

Established in 1995, PENCIL was created to provide a bridge between the New York City schools and the community they serve. Through the cooperation and participation of individuals and companies, PENCIL has obtained large donations of money, materials, and immeasurable time for the more than one million public school students in the city. "The Principal For a Day" Program annually mobilizes over 1,000 participants to appreciate both the strengths and the challenges of public schools.

Colina-Brunne and Shaffer-Walsh will join the ranks of a few more well-known "Principal For A Day" participants including New York Senator Hillary Clinton, writer Anna Quindlen, actor Julianna Margulies, fashion designer Norma Kamali, former Second Lady Tipper Gore and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, others who likely believe, as Colina-Brunne stated, that 'there is no greater contribution to make than that which is aimed to improve the lives of our children and the future of our world.