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Irvington Appoints Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services

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April 28, 2022

By Rick Pezzullo—

Francis Tolan has been appointed assistant director of pupil personnel services in the Irvington School District. He was officially appointed by the Board of Education on April 26 and will begin his new role on May 31.

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“Throughout a comprehensive search process, Francis impressed everyone with his deep knowledge and resourcefulness,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison. “He values the importance of interpersonal connections and strong communication in establishing partnerships with students and their parents, colleagues and members of the school community. I am enthused to welcome Francis to the Irvington school community and believe that he will have an immediate positive impact on the department and our students’ experiences.”

Tolan recently served as interim acting assistant principal at One World Middle School in the Bronx, where he monitored the professional development series, oversaw the special education department and led day-to-day school operations. He also worked as a peer collaborative teacher at Leaders of Tomorrow Middle School, where he developed lessons plans to support all students’ learning needs and led innovative and student-centered programs.

Prior to that, he served as a special education teacher at the Globe School, as well as a fellow adviser at New York City Teaching Fellows.

“I was drawn to the Irvington School District for its high expectations, forward-thinking initiatives, and past and recent accomplishments in the field of education,” Tolan said. “I was also impressed by the PPS team’s dedication to serving students with special needs in the district. Throughout the interview process, two aspects of Irvington’s culture especially stood out to me: the importance of relationships and the collective desire to improve outcomes for students.”

“As I join the leadership and PPS teams, I am very excited to build relationships and partnerships with staff, students, families, and the other members of the Irvington community. I am also eager to serve the district in its pursuit of continuous improvement,” he added.

Tolan holds a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in education from City College of New York and a school building leader license from the Center for Integrated Teacher Education.

Meanwhile, Harrison announced last week that Irvington High School Principal Juliet Gevargis-Mizimakoski (Ms. GM), who had informed the district she would be resigning at the end of the school year after three years in the position, was leaving earlier than expected.

Assistant Principal Michelleann DeFilippis will be taking over the high school reins the rest of the year.

“The search process to identify the next IHS principal is already under way and we know that we will find an outstanding leader to serve in this role in the future,” Harrison stated. “Please be assured that, in response to these unexpected circumstances, the district is already actively developing a plan for an interim leadership structure to support our students, staff and school operations.”


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