Great news for P.S./M.S. 8! District 13 Superintendent Barbara Freeman has named Patricia Peterson Principal of the K-8 school. The announcement was made on Wednesday at a special School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting. “I am thrilled to accept this position and serve our school and the greater District 13 community. I look forward to building on and strengthening the wonderful work that we started together last year.” said Ms. Peterson in a communication sent to parents, teachers and staff early Wednesday evening. Of the appointment, Superintendent Barbara Freeman shared, “I look forward to working with her and the entire school community throughout this transition.”
Ms. Peterson, affectionately known as “Trish” was brought on board as Acting Interim Assistant Principal in the fall of 2016 to fill a staffing void created by the departure of the former Middle School Assistant Principal. She worked closely with long-time lower school Assistant Principal Bob Mikos to run the lower school until his departure after eleven years in December 2016. (Mikos is now a Director of Prevention Services in Staten Island’s D31, a field he had worked in prior to his time at P.S./M.S.8). Peterson was officially installed as AP in December 2016. Then after a 14-year tenure, Principal Seth Phillips officially announced his intention to retire from the DOE in February 2017. (It was widely known 2016-17 would be his final year).
In her role as Assistant Principal Ms. Peterson introduced new academic initiatives such as “Algebra for All,” applied for STEM grants, facilitated a partnership with the Beam Center, empowered teachers by strengthening professional development and focused on the social/emotional well-being of the students. These efforts were widely praised by parents, teachers and staff alike.
Despite her “rock star” status within community, parents feared a perceived block to Ms. Peterson’s candidacy by School Chancellor Carmen Farina. They rallied around her with a petition to multiple DOE officials and electeds, a march across Brooklyn Bridge and even publicly pressing Mayor DiBlasio for answers on a call into WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show on July 14th.
We extend a hearty congratulations to Ms. Peterson and can’t wait to see the good things to come for P.S./M.S. 8!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Your correspondent is a P.S.8 parent and a member of the School Leadership Team.
EDIT: The Superintendent’s announcement was made to the School Leadership team (SLT), not the Senior Leadership Team.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tracy Lantz