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A high-ranked upstart elementary school in Park Slope has hired a new principal, straight from its elite neighbor.
PS 107 has hired Eve Litwack — a movie executive-turned-second grade teacher, who climbed the ranks to assistant principal at PS 321 in 2006 — to replace Cynthia Holton, a 42-year veteran of the city school system.
Litwack said she plans to cultivate well-rounded students by getting kids at the A-rated school excited about the arts. She also said she’ll work closely with teachers and parents to overcome challenges such as the school’s space dilemma.
“The school is functioning incredibly well — so my biggest challenge is to keep it at the level it is,” said Litwack, who was sporting a nametag that read “Ms. Eve” after a breakfast meeting with parents on Friday.
The news comes after Holton announced in March that she — and two other top school administrators — would retire, saying, “After working for 42 years, it’s getting tougher to wake up at 5 am every school morning.”
Word of the administrative clean-sweep — which Holton said was simply a coincidence — also came one month before many parents learned that the Eighth Avenue school would not have enough kindergarten space to accommodate everyone.
That problem was eventually solved, but parents hope Litwack keeps on her radar.
She has the right temperament for it, said PS 107 parent Susan Mendoza. “She’s open and engaging and she understands this community,” she said.
Litwack — who’s in her 50s and lives three blocks from the school — is well-acquainted with Park Slope, explaining the neighborhood is full of well-educated parents, “who show they care by getting involved.”
She also said she plans to use her 10-year background as a teacher and an arts liaison — a position in which she helped bring a “story acting and improv” class to PS 321 — to foster not just high test scores but also creativity.
“The school can be even better — but I don’t plan to make changes in isolation,” Litwack said, adding she’s been meeting with parents and teachers this week for feedback.
“I think she’ll be great,” said Carol Perez — who has a fourth-grader at PS 107.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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