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Pleasantville's New Principal Plans to Grow

Dawn Bartz wanted to take a larger role in running a high school. Bartz will become the new principal at Pleasantville High School in Pleasantville, N.Y., starting July 1. The new job will bring an end to her five-year tenure as one of three assistant principals at New Canaan High in Connecticut.

“It will be really hard to leave, but I need to grow in a different place,” said Bartz, whose new job became official Tuesday when the Pleasantville Board of Education approved it. “I’m very excited. It will certainly expand what I do and give me a chance to run a school more directly.”

Bartz’s departure marks the second major change to come in the New Canaan High administration. Principal Tony Pavia announced earlier in the year that he was leaving after nine years to take over at Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, his alma mater. Bryan Luizzi of Brookfield High School was hired in April to take over for Pavia.

The Pleasantville job will be Bartz's second as an administrator. Before arriving in New Canaan, she worked for 20 years as a teacher in schools in the Bronx, N.Y.; Los Angeles; Laguna Beach, Calif.; and Staples High School in Westport. Bartz said she sees similarities between New Canaan and Pleasantville. “They’re both high-achieving, they’re both very student-centered, and there’s a lot of collaborative decision making,” she said. “I love New Canaan, but this offers me a chance to expand my horizons and move to the next level, which is a principalship.”

Bartz says it feels as if she and Pavia will be graduating with New Canaan High Class of 2011 during the June 21 commencement ceremony. “It’s a great class to go out with,” she said.

What is your favorite thing about Pleasantville High School? Comment below, or on our Facebook page.

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