Your name: Bianca McHale
Your Title / Role: Assistant Principal at Midland Elementary School
MyRye.com: Describe your role on a day-to-day basis.
McHale: As the Assistant Principal at Midland Elementary, I will have multiple roles on a day-to-day basis, one being supporting Mr. Boylan in the administration of the school. Another is, helping students achieve their greatest potential. And above all, I will communicate and cooperate with students, teachers and the community as each are essential to ensure successful student achievement.
What drew you into the field of education?
McHale: As a little girl, I always found myself helping my cousins or friends in areas they were struggling in at school, whether it was with academics, behavioral or their emotional needs. I loved seeing and experiencing the joy they felt from their success, as well as the joy that I felt being a part of it. I felt then, as I still do now, that it is a privilege and profound opportunity to have a hand in the process of an individual’s academic success. I quickly became passionate about the fact that all children are capable of learning and have the right to succeed.
What lessons did you learn early in your career that you still apply today?
McHale: I believe that every student is capable of successfully learning in environments that promote intellectual rigor in a safe, respectful, tolerant and inclusive setting. It is imperative to build and maintain positive and caring relationships between staff, students and parents to maximize the potential of all students, and teachers alike; communication is key.
How did you find your position in Rye and why did you decide it was the best place for you?
McHale: I saw the posting online and initially became interested as I am familiar with the strong reputation the Rye City School District has. After further research, the districts’ mission statement, leadership team and culture really seemed to resonate with my beliefs, style and prior experience. At that point I knew this would be a great fit, which was solidified in my mind after my first conversation with the district’s leaderships team where I was able to learn more about their educational philosophy and goals for Midland School and the district.
As I continued to learn more throughout the interview process, I was impressed with Rye’s commitment to provide appropriate programs for children at all levels of learning, which is core to my education philosophy. In addition, the communication style and two-way relationship and respect that the entire school staff has with each other, as well as the parents and members of the community, is another core element of my philosophy. There must be a commitment between families and the school system in order to foster the best learning environment and ensure all children are academically successful.
What are your three top priorities for the 2021-22 school year?
- Support the school staff in creating and implementing flexible processes in a targeted manner to meet the learning needs and well-being of all students; including identifying and addressing student needs in order to respond appropriately to the needs of individual learners.
- Create an environment in which students feel comfortable to explore their interests, their beliefs and make connections with others in order to develop a sense of equity and become responsible members of society.
- Foster an environment that promotes opportunities for students to complement the academic curriculum and to be proficient in skills that will make them successful.
Over the last year, people have followed the recent Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ activity and news in Rye and around the world. What is your prescription for students, teachers and staff? How can the schools make the best positive contribution?
McHale: Our schools can make a positive contribution by providing a safe, welcoming and comfortable learning environment for all students, teachers, staff and community members. By fostering such a culture in which each individual feels at ease to openly express themselves and their ideas, it creates an atmosphere which encourages all to acknowledge and embrace each other’s differences.
Where did you grow up?
McHale: I grew up in the suburban town of Trumbull, CT, but have lived in NYC for as many years as I did in Trumbull. I feel grateful to have had the experience of each environment, as the two perspectives have helped to shape my world view and approach to education.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
McHale: In my free time, I love spending time with my family and friends. My husband Corey and I, along with our two sons, are very active and love to be outside exploring new places and trying new things. On the weekends when we’re not at a soccer or baseball game, you can find us hiking, riding bikes, collecting shells at the beach, or attending a concert. During the start of COVID, I discovered a passion that I never knew I had and began cooking on a more regular basis – my husband and sons are great taste-testers!