Principal Kaishian To Replace Neal Miller

By Tyler Friedman & Jack Fischer

Photo by Jack Fischer
Photo by Jack Fischer

High school Principal James Kaishian will replace Superintendent Neal Miller as of July 1, 2013. Mrs. Debora French will take Mr. Kaishian’s role as high school principal.

“Because the Board of Education recently conducted an extensive external search when it recruited Mr. Miller, the Board had the benefit seeing the available candidate pool (approximately 64 applied for the position), along with extensively interviewing four candidates,” said Board President Sal Maglietta. “Based on that recent experience and knowledge, it was clear that Mr. Kaishian stood out quite favorably in comparison to the available set of candidates.”

“He always puts in the extra effort and time to give his all to our students, staff and community.  Mr. Kaishian understands and embraces our community and district culture.  As we know, a critical factor of success for a Chief Executive Officer is the cultural fit for the district that person leads. There is no learning curve for him in terms of understanding our community’s expectations,” Mr. Maglietta added.

After the district has employed three superintendents in four years, Mr. Kaishian hopes to provide much needed stability. “Reciprocally, Mr. Kaishian is a known quantity – in a good way – to our students and families, creating a comfort in the transition that is important and helpful,” said Mr. Maglietta. Mr. Kaishian added that “It’s well known that I love it here, I want to be here, and it is my hope that I do an adequate job for the district.”

After 12 years in the middle and high schools, Mr. Kaishian is excited for the opportunity to lead Briarcliff in a bigger and better way. On a day to day basis, his student-centered philosophy will be the same, even though face-to-face interaction with students will be limited. Mr. Kaishian will now play a role in Briarcliff Middle School and Todd Elementary School, as well as BHS, in order to make a visible presence and an impact at all three schools. He hopes to continue attending as many school functions as possible and carry on his connection with the student body. In addition, Mr. Kaishian aims to have students recognize the background of the school and honor the commitment of the entire faculty. “The formula that has worked for Briarcliff High School is to get the right people in the right place, talk about and reinforce what we value, and then let them take ownership of what it is that they do and support them.” As principal, he has almost never been disappointed, and more often than not, he is amazed.

Mr. Kaishian reflected on his experience as principal as being the best years of his life personally and professionally. Humbling, exciting, yet bittersweet, the promotion will give Mr. Kaishian the opprtunity to work on behalf of Briarcliff students throughout the district, and he looks forward to the new challenge.


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