New Rochelle Welcomes More Than 50 New Educators in Orientation
More than 50 educators new to the New Rochelle schools gathered for orientation in their new district on Thursday, as Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne congratulated them for making it through an interview process that was “both competitive and rigorous.”
“It is that way because we want to give the children of New Rochelle the best. And that’s what we believe we have before us here today,” Dr. Osborne told them in the Linda E. Kelly Theater at New Rochelle High School.
The superintendent welcomed them to a district that treasures its diversity, which, he said, means more than merely accepting others.
“Embracing our rich diversity is of a deeper quality than that,” Dr. Osborne told them. “It means that we actively welcome, celebrate, support and serve all of our students and our families and that the differences among us add value for all of us.”
The newcomers were treated to coffee and bagels in the morning, followed by talks from school district leaders. New Rochelle Board of Education Vice President Maddali Atallah told them of the key role that teachers play in offering a great education.
“We believe that the job is done in the classroom, with the children, and you are the most important element in that,” she said.
The day’s events introduced them to much more than the school district of 11,000 students. City historian Barbara Davis told them of more than 300 years of New Rochelle history, beginning with the Siwanoy Indians who lived in the area before European settlers arrived. They also took a bus tour of the city’s schools, residences and points of interest.
The newly hired educators were eager to begin teaching in schools across the district.
“I’m looking forward to inspiring the students to learn another language, because that’s the future,” said Majid Benefar, a new French teacher at New Rochelle High School. “There are a lot of challenges ahead, but there will be a lot of great rewards in working through them.”
Art teacher Daniela Marini’s classes will be at the William B. Ward Elementary School.
“I’m so excited to be part of the team at Ward,” said Marini. “The administration is very strong, and I feel very supported by it.”
Alex Urso, a new special education teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, said the orientation helped him ease into his new challenge.
“I’m feeling confident and starting to get a little more comfortable with all the procedures,” he said. "I’ve heard all great things about the community and the schools. It is a fantastic opportunity.”
As they got ready to begin their first classes in New Rochelle, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Joseph Williams told them that they had come to a great district in which to thrive professionally.
“I am quite sure you are all going to have a productive and fulfilling career here in New Rochelle,” he said.