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Pocantico Hills Selects New Superintendent of Schools

On Thursday, April 11, the Pocantico Hills Board of Education appointed Richard Calkins as its next superintendent of schools.

Mr. Calkins will take over for retiring Superintendent Carol Conklin-Spillane July 1. He will be joining Pocantico Hills from the Alfred-Almond Central School District in Allegany County, where he has been superintendent of schools for nearly a decade. Prior to that, he was principal of the district’s Jr./Sr. High School, chairman of the Committee on Special Education and a special education teacher.

The Board of Education selected Mr. Calkins following a comprehensive search led by Bob Christmann of NYS Leadership Group. The search process, which was confidential until Thursday’s announcement, resulted in a large and highly competitive pool of candidates from throughout the state of New York and beyond.

Board of Education President Al Pacile said the district is thrilled to welcome Mr. Calkins as its next leader.

“We are confident Rich is going to be a tremendous fit for our community and school,” he said. “Not only is he a top-notch educator and administrator with a long track record of success, he embodies the spirit of commitment and service to community that we envisioned at the start of our search.”

Our Mission

The Pocantico Hills School staff believes that each student is a complex and unique person. We are committed to helping our children realize their complete personal potential – academic, creative, physical and emotional. We will ask the students to stretch themselves and help them to discover the rewards of working hard.

We will treat the students with respect and understanding and encourage them to be caring and contributing members of society, students who are thoughtful, honest, fair, kind and self-disciplined.

What Is Your Mood? Check Out Our Middle School Mood Meter

The ability to recognize, understand, label, express and when necessary, regulate our emotions is critical to our emotional health and success in school.  Understanding these skills using the RULER approach provides our students with an opportunity to utilize the Mood Meter—an important component to the Anchors of Emotional Intelligence.  Our Mood Meter Mondays allow students to utilize this resource to self-identify their emotion prior to lunch.  This provides one data point to assess our students’ emotional well-being and our overall culture and climate at Pocantico at the beginning of each week.  

Link to our Middle School Mood Meter can be found here.  

Pocantico Hills School Core Values - Kindness, Respect and Perseverance

As part of our successful transition back to school, our 8th grade students were charged with creating a school-wide character pledge that reflects our core values—kindness, respect and perseverance.  Their successful work was chronicled throughout the week and captured on video Pocantico Character.  Our Pocantico Character Pledge is recited each morning following the Pledge of Allegiance as a school community.  Again, a special thank you to the class of 2019 and Mr. Murray, Mrs. Carruth and Mrs. Hongell, who facilitated this important work with our students.

 As a student of character at Pocantico Hills …

I pledge to not give up when obstacles are in the way.  I will persevere.

I will listen to others and use careful words.  I will be respectful. 

I will smile and greet people in the hallways.  I will be kind.   

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