The Chestnut Street School in West Hempstead has a new leader — temporarily.
Lisa Minicozzi was named the elementary school’s interim principal during the Jan. 17 board of education business meeting, replacing Faith Tripp, who served her last day on Jan. 16.
Tripp left after seven years as principal to take on her new post as director of world languages and English as a second language in the East Williston School District. The Chestnut Street School, which recently celebrated its 110th birthday, serves about 115 students in grades K-1.
“I recognize the unique value of each student within our school and look forward to being the newest child/parent advocate to support learning within our community,” Minicozzi said.
Minicozzi most recently served as the program director of educational leadership at Adelphi University. She supported Adelphi’s student teacher residency program at the West Hempstead School District for the past five years, overseeing the student teachers placed at Chestnut Street.
She also served as a clinical associate professor of education at Adelphi, where she designed and led graduate and undergraduate courses focused on leadership, elementary curriculum, instruction and literacy.
Prior to working at Adelphi, Minicozzi served as the principal of Sea Cliff Elementary School in the North Shore School District, a position she held for five years. In that role, she provided daily leadership, management and supervision of students and faculty and staff members for grades K-5. She also fostered school-community partnerships focused on communication and community service.
Daniel Rehman, superintendent of West Hempstead schools, said he was excited about Minicozzi bringing her vast experience in education to Chestnut Street.
“As Dr. Minicozzi has been part of our RamPride family for the past five years through her position at Adelphi, she is very familiar with the school’s culture, staff and outstanding student body,” Rehman said. “I am confident that this experience, coupled with her previous educational roles, will be a great fit to lead Chestnut Street. I anticipate that she will transition seamlessly into this new role.”
Rehman said the district will begin the search for a new principal in April or May. He said the district is aiming to make the appointment on July 1 so the new principal has time to adjust.
Rehman also thanked Tripp for her service to the district and its students. “Ms. Tripp was a wonderful asset to our district in her role as a teacher and administrator,” Rehman said, “and we thank her for her service here and wish her well.”
In a message posted to the community online, Minicozzi expressed her desire to help individual students achieve their full potential.
“Together we will focus on students’ strengths to emphasize academic, social and emotional growth,” Minicozzi wrote. “I am dedicated to developing our students’ successes and will strive to continue the positive relationships, rigorous learning, and the nurturing environment that encourages our students to celebrate their unique strengths.”
Minicozzi pledged to work collaboratively with Chestnut Street School families for the remainder of the year.
“I am determined to support every child every day at Chestnut Street, and I will bring the energy, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness needed to continue to make Chestnut Street School an exemplary school,” Minicozzi wrote. “Because the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students, I encourage you to become involved in every way possible. I look forward to the collaboration and support we will be able to give each other.”