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Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
18 Franklin Place
Pelham, New York 10803
Phone: 914 738 3434, ext. 1155
Fax: 914 738 7223
Secretary and District Clerk: Stephanie Pollock
Peter Giarrizzo became Superintendent of the Pelham Schools in July 2013, following an extensive nationwide search conducted by the national search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. In naming him superintendent, School Board President Lisa Kiernan said, “Peter rose to the top from a stellar field of candidates, including four other finalists who are sitting superintendents in high performing school districts. We know he will bring to this job a passion for excellence and a proven record of commitment to a rich educational experience for all students. He has a highly collaborative leadership style, exemplary listening and communication skills, and strong operational and fiscal capabilities. In selecting Peter, the Board has chosen a talented and experienced educational leader who is deeply dedicated to the district’s highest priority of academic excellence.”
Dr. Giarrizzo began his career in Pelham in 2011 as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel. In this capacity he assumed responsibility for the educational program of the District as well as the professional development and hiring of professional staff. He chaired the mathematics task force, coordinated the evaluation of the social studies program by the Tri States Consortium, led the implementation of the new Common Core standards, and played a key role in developing and implementing the new teacher and principal annual professional performance review. He also worked with the Pelham Education Foundation on many of their pioneering grant initiatives, including the introduction of iPad technology in elementary classrooms.
“I am very excited and honored to be selected to serve as Pelham’s superintendent,” said Dr. Giarrizzo at his appointment. "Pelham has a talented faculty, staff and administration and a very supportive community. I look forward to working with all these stakeholders to begin the process of developing a long- term strategic plan that builds upon our track record of success. My short time in Pelham gives me the insight and knowledge of an internal candidate and the fresh perspective of an external candidate, both of which will be beneficial to me and the district as we plan for the future.”
In discussing some priorities for the district, Dr. Giarrizzo identified the importance of maintaining excellence in student programming and building opportunities for enrichment, differentiation and extension of learning opportunities for students at all levels, K-12. “I want to work with our teachers and administrators to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to access the richest and most robust academic program, all within the constraints of the tax cap legislation.” He further prioritized partnering with all facets of the community to support the development of a student body and staff that embody respect for self and others, integrity, good citizenship, honor and intellect, and increasing communication with the community on the strengths of the district while being open to diversity of opinion.
The selection process of a new superintendent was rigorous and thorough. A total of fifty candidates from fourteen states and the United Kingdom were identified from referrals, applications and recruitment; seventeen candidates, of whom sixteen are currently serving as superintendents, were recruited by the search consultants. An exhaustive review process narrowed the field to five top prospects, including Dr. Giarrizzo. The Board conducted multiple rounds of interviews with each of these candidates during December, before ultimately selecting Dr. Giarrizzo.
Dr. Giarrizzo began his career in education at Valley Stream where he was a special education teacher and an English teacher and later headed the high school Special Education Department. He then served successive terms, first as Director of Pupil Services at Cold Spring Harbor and later as Director of Instructional Services at Mount Pleasant. Immediately before coming to Pelham, he was the Deputy Superintendent in the Elmsford Schools.
Dr. Giarrizzo received his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Rutgers University, Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Administration. His dissertation is titled With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case Study in the Enactment of Rawlsian Social Justice at Lafayette High School. He received his Masters of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Long Island University and his Bachelor in Science degree in Education from SUNY Geneseo. Dr. Giarrizzo lives in Pelham with his family, including his two sons who attend the Pelham Public Schools.