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Two New Assistant Principals at Rye Schools

Rye City schools have appointed new new assistant principals, here is the news:

Rye City School District Appoints Assistant Principals
Ellen McDonnell takes on new title, Robert McKiernan joins District

The Rye City School District is pleased to announce the recent appointments of two Assistant Principals. Ellen McDonnell, previously Rye High School’s Math Department Chair, has taken on the role of Assistant Principal with a focus on grade 6-12 mathematics. Robert McKiernan joins the District as Assistant Principal for Guidance and Student Support Services at Rye High School, a position formerly held by High School Principal Patricia Taylor.


In her two years as Math Department Chair at the High School, Mrs. McDonnell has led a department of nine teachers, taught Integrated Algebra and Geometry classes, implemented the Algebra Lab program, taught in-service classes for new math teachers, and collaborated with teachers to prepare for the implementation of Universal Algebra in grade 8. In her new role, Mrs. McDonnell will be based in the Middle School, where she will focus on the Universal Algebra transition as a main project, but will continue to teach the two High School courses and work closely with both the High School and Middle School Math Departments. “She has been instrumental in working with the High School Math Department in the use of technology,” stated Mrs. Taylor.

Before coming to Rye, Mrs. McDonnell served as a Professional Development Consultant for Southern Westchester BOCES’ Center for Professional Development and Curriculum Support, and prior to that, she was a math teacher and instructional leader at John Jay High School in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. Mrs. McDonnell has also held math specialist and reviewer roles, writing, editing, and reviewing content for math books and assessments.

Mrs. McDonnell holds a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the College of New Rochelle, and a Masters Degree in Teaching and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics and Music from Cornell University. She has received several recognitions, including the ETS Recognition of Excellence Award for Mathematics Content Knowledge in 2007; Who’s Who in American Teachers honor in 1996; and Sallie Mae First Class Teacher Award for First Year Teacher of the Year for New York State in 1995.

“I am excited to serve the Rye City Schools and the Rye community in this new capacity,” Mrs. McDonnell said. “I am looking forward to working with the excellent educators we have in the 6-12 mathematics program to improve student learning and increase opportunities for student growth.”

Robert McKiernan

Mr. McKiernan brings to the District 17 years of experience as an educator and leader of students in grades 9-12. He most recently worked in the Carmel School District, where he served as Dean of Students. In this capacity, Mr. McKiernan supervised the academic progress of over 600 students, communicated with parents, evaluated teachers, and worked with teachers to improve student performance. He participated in the development of professional learning communities throughout the school to enhance student learning, oversaw and facilitated the college application process for the senior class, and also provided guidance to the school leadership team to strive for continuous improvement. Prior to his work as Dean of Students at Carmel High School, Mr. McKiernan was a social studies teacher at the school for six years, and before that, was a social studies teacher at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx.

Mr. McKiernan earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and his Masters in Education Administration from Fordham University, and his Masters in Secondary Social Studies from Lehman College. “We are eager to have Mr. McKiernan join our Administrative Team at the High School as a proven administrator and communicator,” stated High School Principal Mrs. Taylor. “He is excited to be a contributor to the college admission process as he assumes many of the duties of coordinating the process with the Guidance Counselors. I am excited to introduce him to the community as well as key contacts at colleges.”

“I look forward to working with Mrs. Taylor, the faculty and the students and parents of Rye High School,” Mr. McKiernan stated. “My aim is to work toward a smooth transition and maintain the high standards that symbolize Rye High School.”


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