Families and faculty will see a familiar face at the helm of Seely Place Elementary School this fall.
Former Edgemont Junior/Senior High School assistant principal Eve Feuerstein is filling in as the elementary school’s interim principal this year after five years at the high school.
For Feuerstein, the move is almost like coming home — she started her Edgemont School District career as a speech therapist at Seely Place in 2009.
Feuerstein, a Scarsdale resident, also served on the Edgemont district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education and the Committee on Special Education.
Prior to 2009, she worked at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains.
Feuerstein said she finished the 2017-18 school year “super excited to work” with the middle school students and the graduating senior class. However, when former Seely Place principal Carol Bartlik decided to accept a principal position in Chappaqua, Feuerstein was approached with the interim principal opportunity in June. She said it was “a dream come true.”
“To say I’ve come from being a speech therapist to being principal — it was never the path I intended to take, but it feels so right,” Feuerstein told The Inquirer.
She said she is looking forward to working with some of the same families, who have younger children in the elementary school, and with some of the same staff she worked with during her first years in the district. “It’s truly an honor to be back here,” she said.
What is it about Edgemont that made Feuerstein want to stay for 10 years?
“I absolutely love the people I work with and the community I work for,” she said. She added she loves the diversity of the students and their eagerness to learn.
“One thing I absolutely love about the kids is that they’re kind,” Feuerstein also said.
As head of Seely Place Elementary, Feuerstein said she plans to continue the district’s push to educate the students socially and emotionally in addition to academically.
While working with middle schoolers at the junior/senior high school, Feuerstein said she noticed, “If students aren’t feeling good about themselves they won’t be able to learn.” In other words, she explained, if something is on a student’s mind, it will be very hard for them to pay attention to their school work.
Feuerstein feels like parents want to see a sense of “consistency” from her as principal, so she plans to continue many of the programs Bartlik oversaw, such as the various reading programs and math development programs in which students participated last year.
“People want to know I’m here for them and support them,” she said. “I pride myself on wanting to be a good listener, supportive [and helping to figure out] what’s best for the child.”
Board of Education president Jon Faust said his two high school-aged children will miss Feuerstein at EHS and he has the utmost confidence in Feuerstein’s ability to lead Seely Place in the 2018-19 school year.
“Eve [has a] creative and enthusiastic personality, with an infectious energy and smile,” said Faust. “She has also been a very effective administrator, who relates to kids directly. She’ll make any building she is in a better place to be — administratively and otherwise.”
Faust also issued well wishes for former Principal Bartlik.
“We wish Carol the best, and know that she will bring her new school district the type of drive and capability we so appreciated here,” Faust said. “Carol stepped into a position held by an Edgemont institution — Dr. Ed Kennedy — and quickly made it her own. We’ll miss her.”
Kennedy was the principal at Seely Place for 35 years before Bartlik took over in 2016.