Dr. Brian Alm
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership
Dr. Alm comes to Rye from the Ossining Union Free School District where he served as the Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning since 2016. In that position, he oversaw Curriculum and Instruction for grades 6-12 for the school district. Prior to working in Ossining, he was the Principal of Haldane High School in Cold Spring, NY, for nine years, and the Assistant Principal at Pearl River High School for four years. He began his career as a History teacher at the Beacon School in Manhattan.
Dr. Alm has a B.A. in History and Sociology from Binghamton University, an M.A. in Teaching Social Studies from Fordham University, and an Ed.D. from Teachers College at Columbia University. His dissertation was entitled, “Giving Voice to Teachers: How Twenty 4th and 5th Grade Teachers Experience Value-added Scores in New York.”
Dr. Patricia Murray
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Dr. Murray comes to the RCSD from the Bronxville Union Free School District where she served as the Principal of the Bronxville Elementary School for seven years, overseeing instruction for grades K-5 for nearly 700 students. Prior to working in Bronxville, she was the Assistant Principal of Putnam Valley Elementary School in Putnam Valley, NY, for six years. She began her career as a middle school mathematics teacher and an elementary teacher in Randolph, MA. She also spent several years as an elementary school teacher at P.S. 11 in Manhattan.
Dr. Murray has a B.A. in Education from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Elementary Education from New York University, and an Ed.D. from Fordham University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Instructional Coaching: A Method for Shifting Teacher Professional Practice.”
English as a New Language Teacher
Ms. Bendlin comes to Rye to fill a new position, that of Districtwide English as a New Language (ENL) Teacher. She has served as an English/ENL instructor at Keio Academy in Purchase for 26 years, teaching ENL, Language Arts, and English classes for students grades 9-12. She served as the Director of Student Activities for five years and as head coach for the boys and girls cross country team for six years. More recently, she was varsity cross country assistant coach and varsity winter track assistant coach at Valhalla High School. She has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at CUNY Hunter College since 2014. Ms. Bendlin has a B.A. in English Communication from Tamagawa University in Tokyo and an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a Masters in Education (M.Ed.), both from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Melissa Danko comes to the RCSD from the Julian Curtiss Elementary School and Western Middle School in Greenwich, CT, where she worked as a school-based Occupational Therapist with children with disabilities ages 5-11 for three years. She was also an Occupational Therapist at the Elizabeth Seton Children’s Clinic in White Plains. She has a B.S. in Art Therapy and Communication Science from Springfield College and an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Sacred Heart University.
Dr. William Meyer
Secondary Instructional Staff Developer (High/Middle School)
Dr. Meyer comes to Rye to fill a new position, that of Secondary Instructional Staff Developer at the High School and Middle School. Dr. Meyer worked as a social studies teacher at Bronxville Public High School since 2010 teaching Global, World, U.S., and AP U.S. History. Beginning in 2018, he was the school’s Coordinator of K-12 Service Learning, and since 2020, served as the Co-Director of the Justice Speaking Series and Fellowship which brought together students from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville High School, and Mt. Vernon and Yonkers schools in a speaking fellowship experience. He previously taught history at Scarsdale Public High School and at NEST+m (New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math school) in Manhattan where he also served as Dean of Students and History Department Chair.
Dr. Meyer has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in Administration, Policy and Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, an M.Ed. in Social Studies Teaching from Pace University Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Administration, Leadership, and Technology from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.
Russell Passante comes to the RCSD from the Hendrick Hudson School District where he worked as an occupational therapist for the past three years. In this role, he developed individualized education plans (IEPs) for a wide range of populations and impairments. He has also worked in the Dobbs Ferry and Mamaroneck School Districts. Mr. Passante has a B.S. in Health Science from Mercy College and a B.S in Sociology from SUNY Oneonta.
Susan Paulson comes to Rye from Developmental Steps, LLC, where she worked as a Pediatric Physical Therapist for the past seven years. Previously, she was a Pediatric Physical Therapist at the John A. Coleman School in White Plains, NY. She has worked in acute inpatient services and outpatient rehabilitation for a variety of hospitals, including White Plains Hospital Center and Greenwich Hospital. Ms. Paulson has a B.S. in Health Studies, an M.S. in Physical Therapy, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, all from the Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Services.
Senior Office Assistant, Business Office
Ms. Wels comes to work in the Business Office at the Central Administration Building from the Atria Woodlands, where she worked as the Engage Life Director of resident programming. Her previous career was in marketing and events. For eight years, she worked as a VP of Marketing and Events executing the annual International Digital Publishing Forum (IDBF) Digital Book Conference, the largest B2B ebook conference in North America. Prior to that, she worked in parking for WebMD, Reed Business Information, the National Park Foundation, and Penguin Random House. Ms. Wels has a B.S. in Education from Syracuse University.