2004-06-18 / Front Page

Cashin: New Principal ‘A Take Charge Guy’

Cashin: New Principal ‘A Take Charge Guy’

Despite the fact that the newly-appointed principal of Middle School 180, John Comer, has only eight years of experience in the school system and only one as an acting assistant principal (at Middle School 226), Regional Superintendent Kathleen Cashin told The Wave recently that she is sure that Comer will be an excellent administrator for the often-troubled building.

"He is a real take-charge guy," Cashin says of Comer. "He demonstrated excellent skills as an assistant principal and took over the Region Five Science Fair his first year as an administrator."

Comer was the administrator for the seventh grade at the much-larger MS 226 in Ozone Park, Cashin pointed out.

"He supervises more children now on the seventh grade than he will next year at MS 180 administrating the entire building."

Cashin says that she is not deterred by the fact that Comer has only one year as an acting assistant principal, pointing out that she went straight from teacher to principal with no intermediate step to assistant principal.

"I promise the MS 180 community that they are getting a good guy with Comer, one who will be dedicated to the school," Cashin said. "It’s good to have experience, but many people with more experience do not necessarily do a good job. There are other aspects than experience to look at in any candidate."

A number of parents have contacted The Wave this week to complain that the region was placing an "inexperienced young man" in the principal’s position while demoting acting principal Monica Murphy, who has been an assistant principal at the school for many years.

A new assistant principal, chosen by Comer from two candidates, will come to the school with the new principal because, Cashin says, "We want him to come in with an AP of his choice."

Cashin says that Murphy will be given a position at another, undisclosed school in the region.

There has been some conjecture reported in the pages of The Wave that PS 114 principal Brian O’Connell would be transferred from the elementary school to MS 180 as principal once the "Scholar’s Academy" is in place.

A supervisor at the regional office, who asked not to be identified, said, however, "We have an entire year to make those kinds of decisions. A lot could happen in a year and we have not yet made any decisions about moving anybody at this time.

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