Two separate assistant principals will once again head the chemistry and physics department and the biology department. Principal Stanley Teitel asked physics teacher Scott Thomas if he would assume the role of Interim Acting Assistant Principal (AP) Chemistry and Physics in June 2007.
“I have asked Thomas to take over the position of chemistry and physics because we are required by regulation to run a Chancellor’s Regulation 30 (C-30),” said Teitel. The position was left vacant when Former AP Chemistry and Physics Olga Livanis became principal at NEST+m, a school in lower Manhattan, in the fall of last year. Under the C-30 regulations, as Teitel, with the help of a committee of parents, faculty and students, looks for a permanent AP, he must fill the vacant position.
Also under C-30 regulations, Teitel does not need a committee to choose an interim AP. “I’m allowed to appoint an interim acting person. This is what I’ve done,” he said.
AP Biology Elizabeth Fong, who had been in charge of the chemistry and physics department along with the biology department as AP Science, is now fulfilling her former position.
Stuyvesant will continue its search for an AP for the chemistry and physics department. Teitel said the school will post a vacancy notice on the Department of Education (DOE) Web site for 15 days, as directed by the C-30, “For anybody who’s still interested. And then that’s it.”
Teitel will review submitted applications and pass them over to the committee, which will interview the candidates. The committee will then recommend applicants using a ranking system. “The ultimate decision, though, is mine,” said Teitel.
According to Teitel, many of the applications came from junior high science teachers who are qualified to be APs. He said the qualifications include a degree in education, state certification and at least three years of teaching experience. Since a teaching certificate covers grade seven to grade 12, Teitel emphasized that “at the minimum, [he] would be looking for somebody with a high school [teaching] background in chemistry and physics.”
Teitel said the search for a permanent AP has taken over a year because “if I’m going to have an assistant principal, I want to know, not only can they evaluate the lesson at large, but ensure that the subject material is being taught correctly.” Moreover, Stuyvesant is looking for somebody who has a background in both chemistry and physics. “But not everybody brings that to the table, of course,” said Teitel.
Thomas had originally applied for the permanent position. “I applied for the position in the spring when it was posted on the New York City [DOE] Career Opportunities Web site,” he said. Prior to applying, Thomas received the required NYC Certificate of Eligibility for Supervision in the Physical Sciences.
Thomas worked as an engineer until he began teaching at Dewitt Clinton High School in 2002. After one year at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, he came to Stuyvesant in the fall of 2005.
As the Interim Acting AP, Thomas is responsible for implementing Teitel’s policies, ensuring that the students are being taught the material correctly and the teachers are getting the support they need, and observing classroom instruction and overall structure.
“I look forward to working with teachers to improve instruction,” said Thomas.
Thomas has already started acting on his new role by working closely with Fong and department staff in hiring five new physics and chemistry teachers.
Due to his new commitments, Thomas will only teach one course, Regents Physics. While he will help out with the Intel Science Talent Research program, Thomas will not, as he has in the past, teach Advanced Placement Physics or Plasma Physics.
Though the vacancy left by former AP Chemistry and Physics Dr. Olga Livanis has been filled, Coordinator of Mathematics Maryann Ferrara will remain at her post, filling in for former AP Mathematics Danny Jaye.