Students were political canvassers, escape room artists, physicists, fashionistas, inventors, thought leaders, collaborators, activists, change agents, and boat builders, among many other identities, during Project Week 2019.
Current Lower School Assistant Director Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff P '25 will succeed Ted Corvino P '94, '97, '02 as the Lower School's new Director, beginning on July 1. After 45 years as a beloved teacher, coach, and administrator on the Short Hills Campus, Mr. Corvino announced his retirement on November 9.
Dr. Lizaire-Duff joined the Lower School in 2016, quickly proving herself an experienced, effective member of the School's administration. In addition to the many day-to-day operational tasks she has undertaken in collaboration with Mr. Corvino, she was thoroughly engaged in the development of the core themes and aspirations of the 2018 Strategic Plan, Vision, Purpose, Impact, serving on the steering committee of the Purposes and Disciplines theme, and co-leading the Faculty and Staff Growth and Development theme. In the year since the plan was adopted, she has worked closely with the faculty in spearheading its implementation at the Short Hills Campus. Among other initiatives, during an Academic Team meeting shortly after her arrival, when she learned that only faculty and staff on the Basking Ridge Campus had designated on-campus "Collaboration Days" for interdepartmental and cross-disciplinary exchanges, she quickly moved to launch the same for teachers on the Short Hills Campus. Since then, she has taken the lead on the Lower School's professional development programming. Last year, she was a member of the NJAIS Diversity Fair Steering Committee, and she served on the Search Committee for Pingry's next Head of School.
Matt Levinson, who will begin his tenure as Pingry's next Head on July 1, remarked, "I'm excited to partner with Sandy in her new role as Lower School Director. She brings deep knowledge, passion, and expertise in working with Lower School students and their families. From the moment I met Sandy, I was struck by her delight, joy, and pride in sharing the work of the Lower School. It is clear to me how much she loves Pingry and believes unequivocally in the School's mission 'that places the highest value on honor and respect for others.'"
Dr. Lizaire-Duff began her teaching career in 1999, working at the Edgemont Montessori School in Montclair. Over the next 15 years, she held a number of teaching and administrative positions in the Teaneck School District, developing and implementing interdisciplinary curriculum units, supervising student teachers, mentoring first-year teachers, and conducting teacher training workshops, among other projects and initiatives. She has also served as an adjunct professor of graduate-level courses at New Jersey City University, and as Vice President and President of the Lady Liberty Academy Charter School Board of Trustees. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University, a master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate in Urban Systems from Rutgers University.
"Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have had the privilege of working with Sandy and I have been extremely impressed with her dedication to our students, faculty, staff, and parents," said Mr. Corvino. "Along with her many years as an administrator and teacher, Sandy brings a deep understanding of how to best guide young learners on their journey through the Lower School experience. She has quickly become a key member of our Pingry community, and I feel the Lower School is in great hands as we move forward."
Congratulations, Dr. Lizaire-Duff!
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com