PARK RIDGE -- When new West Ridge Elementary School Principal Christine McCaffery interviewed for the job with administrators, teachers and parents, she said she immediately felt a bond."I found a connection because of the way they talked about children, how nurturing and caring they were about children and how close-knit the community was," said McCaffery, who will take over Aug. 1 for retiring Principal William Schmalz.
...McCaffery, who was previously principal of Liberty Elementary School in Nyack, N.Y., said this type of close community is a key for success."I'm a very collaborative person and like working with people," said McCaffery, who was a principal at Northwood Elementary in Hilton, N.Y., for 12 years before moving to Liberty.
"And I don't think we can make a difference unless we work together.So there was a big attraction for me to want to be at a place like this."Superintendent Patricia Johnson said McCaffery was a perfect fit because of her extensive elementary school experience and her personality.
...McCaffery, who has a master's degree in education as a reading specialist from the State University of New York at Brockport and an advanced degree in administration and instructional leadership from St. John's University, said her expertise has been in writing and reading.Liberty
received the national Exemplary Reading Program Award from the International Reading Association
"Writing moves children along in all areas, and children must be able to learn, write and articulate information," McCaffery
said."In science and in all areas, children learn more critically when they're writing.And especially in an elementary school it has to be integrated in every subject area."
When not working, McCaffery
, who lives in Piermont, N.Y., with her
husband, Michael, said she
loves spending time with her
family -- 29-year-old son K.C., 23-year-old daughter Kelly and 6-year-old grandson Kolin.
counting the days until she
"I can't wait to get there," McCaffery