Head of the Class

We asked the principals of our 44 public high schools to recommend the brightest stars among their teachers. While some insisted they couldn’t choose just one or two (a special shout-out to the principal who tried to nominate his entire faculty!), our inbox was ultimately stuffed with compelling nominations. Here we present (some of) the best of the best.

Photography by John Fortunato
Hairstyling by Kristy Rotonde and Anthony Fidanza of
Plush Salon in White Plains, makeup by Jill K. Imbrogno
Read more about these bright, talented dynamos in the classroom—check out our interviews here.

Ross Abrams
Hastings High School (English)

➤ Says Principal Louis Adipietro: “He is often the last to leave the building because he is so busy helping students.”


Dan Delaney
Croton-Harmon High School (Special Education)

➤ “He always puts kids first,” Prinicipal Alan Capasso says. “He makes house calls to get students to school and gives them his cell number so they can call him if they need to.”
Susan Erichsen
Walter Panas High School (Special Education in English, Communication and Computation)

➤ “She is the first to try, then incorporate, new technology, and then make it her own for engaging students in ways not otherwise possible,” says Principal Susan B. Strauss. “Students believe in her as she believes in them.”

Anne Harrison
Ossining High School (ESL English)

➤ Says Principal Joshua Mandel, “Her classroom is filled with teenagers, none of whom were born in America or are native English speakers. Yet her students excel.”

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Nancy Lee
Briarcliff High School (Biology)

➤ Declares Principal Jim Kaishian, “She is an outstanding biology teacher whose level of success with students is superlative. Perhaps most intriguing about her is her humility. Few people do so much for their community and ask for so little in return.”
Clarice K.W. Morris Gorton High School (Microbiology, and Anatomy and Physiology)
Says Assistant Principal Sandra M. Piacente, “Her love of medicine and innovativeness are captured in the success of the Academy of Medical Professions.”

Elizabeth Napp
White Plains High School (Global History)

➤ “She critically helps her foreign-born students not only understand global history but also comprehensively gather the information in a language they aren’t familiar with,” says Principal Ivan Toper.

Brenda O’Shea
Somers High School (Global History, Sociology, and World Issues in Context)

➤ Says Principal Irene Perrella, “Each year I have to turn students away from her World Issues class because we are oversubscribed.”

Andrew Scott
Pelham High School (United States History AP, United States History and Government, History through Film, Military History, and Social Studies Support)

➤ “He is the definition of a team player and astounds students with his depth of knowledge about history,” says Social Studies Department Supervisor Maria Thompson.

Tom Mormile
Sleepy Hollow High School (Multimedia and Health)

➤ “Tom Mormile began as a health teacher and athletic coach,” Principal Carol L. Conklin says. “Not even he could have envisioned trading in his sneakers for a TelePrompTer in the high-tech TV studio or replacing his sports trophies with awards, like getting honorable mention at the international Adobe Max Awards—beat out only by NASA.”

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