Last night, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Karen Tesik as Interim Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services, effective July 1. Long-time Director of Special Education and Student Services Ms. Michelle Fenster and Assistant to the Director Ms. Eleanor Young are retiring at the end of this school year.
A 25-year veteran educator, Dr. Tesik has served as principal of South Orangetown Middle School since 2009. During her tenure, SOMS was designated in 2015, and re-designated this year, as a National School-to-Watch Model School for excellence in middle-level education. Dr. Tesik led the implementation of the Response to Intervention model, the School Support Team structure and wrap-around enhancements to support all students in achieving to their fullest potential. Prior to joining the South Orangetown Central School District, Dr. Tesik was a tenured assistant principal at Fieldstone Secondary School in the Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District, where she oversaw guidance and student services. Earlier in her career, Dr. Tesik taught graduate classes on differentiation, technology integration and technology for meeting the needs of special and at-risk students. She holds master’s degrees in instructional technology and school administration, New York State licenses for School District Leader and 7-12 Math, and a competency certificate in assistive and adaptive technologies. Dr. Tesik earned her doctoral degree in executive leadership, with a focus on social justice, from St. John Fisher College in August 2017. Her dissertation research topic was 21st century teaching, leading and learning.
“We are thankful to Ms. Fenster and Ms. Young for their years of dedicated service to our students and look forward to the leadership Dr. Tesik will bring to the district’s efforts in creating a new vision for a comprehensive model of supports and services for students and their families,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Pritchard.