Curating The Culture

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New middle school principal vows to build on district standards

Dr. Eric Nezowitz
(Photo by Dave Gil de Rubio)

For Dr. Eric Nezowitz, the new Garden City Middle School principal, landing this position is a dream come true. A lifetime educator whose love of teaching stemmed from his father (a longtime New York City principal) and mother (who put time in as a school secretary), his new district is an ideal landing spot. That assessment has only been firmed up by the myriad people he’s spoken with to learn more about what makes Garden City tick since he officially started in his new role on July 1.
“I think every single person I’ve spoken to—and I think that’s close to 100 already—has said the same great thing. [Garden City] is a tight-knit community,” he said. “A lot of people that live here now have lived here for generations and one of the reasons they’ve lived here for so long is because of the schools. For me, I want to be part of that. You become part of something bigger. In my conversations, what I’ve heard the most is how proud people are of the community, the culture and the schools in this community and how they all contribute to make it an even better place. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? Everyone is invested. It’s exciting for me.”

Having been a principal in the Great Neck School District and served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Plainedge, Nezowitz is eager to bring his skill set to Garden City Middle School.
“In terms of when the school year starts, I want to see what’s happening for myself. Then, I can start making contributions that aren’t turning the place upside down, but rather, making things better. Just like I’d want someone to do for me,” he explained. “I have a very deep knowledge base with literacy, the standards and STEM education. I’m very aggressive and my training is very deep. That could really be a great addition to the building as a whole. That’s what we’re here for—to teach the kids.”

Garden City Middle School

And while the Huntington resident is eager to dive in, he’s also keen to learn about the culture and more importantly, the people he’ll be interacting with—staff, faculty, parents and students.
“My experience has helped in guiding me through all of this, but I want to get to know people first. It’s a simple thing, but sometimes I think it’s something we overlook in leadership, which is something I will never overlook. I spent so much time in the summer, right now, meeting with school board members, everybody in the central office, the principals and the curriculum coordinators—all one on one. I met with SEPTA the other day for an hour and a half. I met with the PTA presidents. There are so many different people and it’s so inspiring,” he said. “Everyone has been so wonderful. First and foremost, you have to get comfortable. I don’t think you can do anything without being comfortable and building those relationships. That will take time. A lot of it is that this is already a great place. For me to come in and look to change the whole world and turn it upside would be silly of me.”

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