We recently asked outgoing Riverhead principal David Zimbler to share his thoughts on his time in the district and why he is leaving Riverhead. Mr. Zimbler will soon leave Riverhead to take a position as principal of Westbury Middle School in Nassau County.
Q: Why have you decided to leave the district?
A: As a principal I have always informed my staff “family first.” Now I need to heed the same advice and be closer to my family so that I can be more involved in their lives. It is with a heavy heart that I leave the Riverhead School District. I have built many relationships and that I will greatly miss.
Q: What are you most proud of from your time at Riverhead?
A: Building relationships with my students and the community
Q: How has the high school changed since you took your post in 2007?
A: The building of supportive programs that assisted the entire student population such as:
· Creation of the 9th Grade Academy
· Creating a more collegial relationship with Alternative School by bringing it to the RHS campus
· The growth on a yearly basis of the number of students awarded Advanced Regents Diplomas
· Co-Designed an ESL Collaborative Program
· Created a Middle School Bridge Program for “at-risk” and enrichment students
· Started partnership with W!SE Financial Literacy Program
· Co-Designed an On Site College Admission Day
• Each school waived application fees
· The Horton Avenue T-Shirt project
· The creation of the Black History Month Unity Celebration
Q: Why Westbury?
A: I was a Middle School teacher as well as principal prior to my principalship at Riverhead High School. I am looking forward to getting back to my roots and to work for a district that I have researched and believe many good things are happening.
Q: Are you expecting your experience at Westbury to be very different than your time at Riverhead?
I believe that when you put students first you will always have a good experience as an educator. When you conduct yourself the same way you would as if it were you child, all else will fall into place. I am looking forward to my future but will always have a special place in my heart for Riverhead. I will never forget the students and their desire to be all they can be.
To conclude, I would like to thank Ms. Carney, Mr. Ogeka, the Board of Education and the Riverhead High School administration team for all their support these last four years. I respect you tremendously! I would like to thank my Riverhead High School staff for all their support and good wishes. Most importantly, to my students at Riverhead High School, I want you to know that I have faith in all of you. You can achieve anything you put your mind to!
Last and certainly not least, the ladies and gentlemen of the graduation class of 2011 you are our future. We, who have gone before you, are counting on your caring and attention to the quality of life we lead in the years to come. Be leaders of truth and justice. You have begun your training and will be building upon your knowledge in the years to come. We will trust you to think of solutions to community issues and to design innovative ideas for making our environment a better world to live in. I am privileged to have participated in your educational experience.
As you, the class of 2011 say farewell to Riverhead High School. You have all become a piece of my soul and in turn I hope I have made a difference in your lives. It is my honor to have known you, and now I ask you to accept the challenge of your role in this world. We are counting on you! Happiness is as you make it. Congratulations and good luck to all of you and all your future endeavors.
And remember — make it a good day, a good life, the choice is yours!