Dr. McCahill Assumes the Role of Nanuet School Superitendent

Urvi Bhatnagar, Reporter

As sad as it was to see Dr. McNeil go, the Nanuet School District is proud to welcome Dr. McCahill, the previous superintendent for administrative services, as the new superintendent. Additionally, prior to being the assistant superintendent, Dr. McCahill was the director of teaching and innovation of the High School, working with Dr. Carella and the other team leaders such as Mr. Ryan, Mrs. Kearns, Mrs. Gesty, Mr. Carbone, Mrs. Logan, Mrs. Chiapperino, and others to improve the curriculum.

At the beginning of the interview, Dr. McCahill described how, last year, he learned some of the skills he will need in his new position. He said that, during his year as the assistant superintendent, he was required to do most of the “behind-the-scenes” actions a superintendent must do. . This required him to spend less time among the student body than he had throughout his career. Dr. McCahill said, “I love being in the classrooms and being with the kids,” so he missed having as much interaction with students as he would like to have had. But he was happy to be able to work with the Nanuet School Board, the principals in all of the Nanuet school buildings, and the members of the community, even if it was behind-the-scenes.

Now, as superintendent, he is able to do both the public interactions with the students and the behind-the-scenes with everyone else. After assuming the position of Superintendent on July 1, Dr. McCahill began guiding the school district in the direction of his vision for Nanuet. “I’ve learned a lot over the summer. I have met with many different groups and am in the process of a formal leadership entry plan in which I will sit and listen to people give me feedback on their work, or even suggest how it could be done better in the future, including creating future goals. This way they feel more comfortable.” By the end of December, Dr. McCahill will have met with the entire organization — every group that represents the Nanuet School District. The District itself is a 72 million dollar non-profit organization that has to be run efficiently as a corporation in order for it to sustain, grow, and evolve. Running the organization is a part of Dr. McCahill’s mission.

As the school year started,  started spending more and more hours into his work (around 13 to 14 hours a day), to compensate for the fact that he is a new leader who knows that things have to be done the right way. This requires a clear mindset, and, luckily for Dr. McCahill, the Nanuet School District is as supportive as his family. He said, “It’s been great! The opening day was fantastic with all of the teachers, and the first full week of school has been great.” Dr. McCahill went on to say that he has been facing a few transportation and communication issues regarding the buses and whether or not the parents have been receiving all the important news, but he has been making adjustments. He said that all of the students and their families have been informed what time they are picked up and what the “rhythm” is of a typical day so that parents can go to work feeling confident.More importantly, there have been student-scheduling issues. But Dr. McCahill has been facing each problem head-on by identifying the problem and handing it with his team.

As of now, one of Dr. McCahill’s foremost goals has been the fixing of the transportation issues.
Finally Dr. McCahill said that his other goals will shape what the district becomes. There are four main goals that Dr. McCahill plans the district will meet. After The Nanuet Board of Education discusses these goals and they are adopted successfully at the board meetings, the draft of the district goals will circulated to the teams in the school. For example, for the Nanuet Senior High School, Mr. Mahoney and Mrs. DeGraw will have to understand the goals, allowing Dr. McCahill to help them start designing their plans for meeting the district goals for Nanuet Senior High School. After that, they share this version with the department teams.

Dr. McCahill said, “We are an academic institution first and foremost, and when students are in a classroom, we want to make sure the teachers are equipped with the best resources, they have the newest instructional practices, they are aligning the curriculum with the standards, and that they are preparing the students properly. We have an obligation to make sure you do the best you can do.” This obligation will guide all the decisions the district. Dr. McCahill also has a clear vision of the school community. He wants to make sure students have healthy relationships with the teachers so that if students feel stressed, they are able to feel like they can openly communicate with a teacher or a different member of the staff. He also wants there to be open communication between the teachers and the administration. Dr. McCahill wants students to realize that they are heard, whether about the parking spots or the homecoming dance, even financially.

Dr. McCahill has been putting resources and time into the decisions for the district and wants the parents, the students, and the staff to know that they are the center of the Nanuet community — a place where a person can go for feedback or advice to build relationships and can help the district become a partner in raising children. The Nanuet School District is proud to have Dr. McCahill be a part of the team again. Thank you for what you are doing!