Sewanhaka appoints new principals for Elmont, H. Frank Carey

Sewanhaka appoints new principals for Elmont, H. Frank Carey

The Sewanhaka Central High School District filled two vacancies last week by appointing principals to Elmont and H. Frank Carey High Schools. 

Marya Baker, Elmont’s new principal, replaces Kevin Dougherty, who left the district in June after serving eight years, while Jennifer Alaimo leaves her assistant principal role at Floral Park High School.

Dougherty in October returned early from an unexpected sabbatical that was announced days before classes started last year. News of Dougherty’s sabbatical led to a protest outside Sewanhaka’s district office from families and a student walkout on the first day of classes last year.  Dougherty’s supporters were against his leaving

Dougherty will be receiving as much as $400,000 after departing from the district in June from a separation agreement signed last year, Newsday reported. The agreement includes Dougherty’s $207,816.84 salary and potential bonuses of $203,908.50, the newspaper said.

Baker comes to Elmont after serving as the principal of the Carol and Frank Biondi Middle and High School in Yonkers. On top of her duties as principal, Baker was also responsible for therapeutic crisis intervention and social-emotional learning programs, according to a release from the district. 

Passing rates for state Regents exams and state-mandated exams improved under Baker’s watch along with graduation rates.

District parents were given a say in the search for a new principal as an interview committee of 12 parents was created. Elmont residents were critical of the board and specifically former President Michael Jaime, one of two liaisons to Elmont.

Jaime and former Trustee Tameka Battle-Burkett were not appointed to the Sewanhaka Board of Education earlier this year.

Baker has a bachelor’s degree in music and English from Avila University, a master’s degree in English from Northeastern and a master’s in teaching from Pace University.

Alaimo was named principal of H. Frank Carey after replacing Christopher Fiore, who became the principal of Narragansett High School in Rhode Island after seven years in the district. 

Alaimo has spent over two decades in the Sewanhaka community, most recently as Floral Park’s assistant principal. While in her previous role, Alaimo assisted in the implementation of the 1:1 iPad initiative,  created a building-wide safety plan and served as liaison to multiple departments, according to a district release. 

Prior to being assistant principal, Alaimo was the special education chairperson at Floral Park, dean of students at Sewanhaka High School and a special education teacher in Sewanhaka. 

Alaimo earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in education from Queens College.

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