Hooray for Lavelle Prep. This is a year of celebration. We are completing our fifth year. Our charter has been renewed for a full term by our authorizer, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York State Regents. Our student body has grown from 75 students to 380 and our faculty has grown to 63 teachers and assistant teachers.
As we look forward to continued growth and development in the years to come, we are excited by changes in leadership. In 2014-15, founding principal Evelyn Finn will assume the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs, and co-principal Howard Lucks will be promoted to Senior Principal. We are all proud that one of our founding teachers, Chris Zilinski, will become Principal of Lavelle Prep. He will lead our outstanding faculty, including a core group of teacher leaders, many of whom are now completing the Wagner College Masters in School Leadership or are entering the program this summer. This team will enable us to expand by adding grades 3 to 5 over the next few years. We will also continue to work with other community leaders in education and business to establish a new charter school, New Ventures, which will target the very much neglected, over age and under-credited students of Staten Island.
Educational reform is perhaps the most critical challenge facing the United States. It is privilege for all of us to participate in this process. At the end of our fifth year, all of us at Lavelle Prep, -- our extraordinary staff exemplified by Outstanding Teacher, Michelle Ciechalski; our dedicated trustees; our wonderful students and their families, -- remain grateful for all the support which we have received from the Staten Island community and leaders such as this year’s Champions, District Attorney Dan Donovan and Professor Carin Guarasci, and to each of you.
Together we can continue to build a national beacon of hope, a school of which all Staten Islanders can be proud.
Kenneth Byalin, Ph. D. President