• Dear SMS Community,

    I would like to introduce myself as the newly appointed Interim Principal of Scarsdale Middle School for the 2023-2024 academic year. It is with great honor that I step into this role, continuing the important work that has already been in progress. I have the utmost admiration and respect for this community that has been so welcoming to me over the past four years as I have served as an assistant principal at SMS.  

    Transitions in school leadership can often bring about concerns, and I understand the impact they can have, having experienced many throughout my career. However, I want to assure you that my focus as the Interim Principal is to be a thoughtful steward, guiding our work with a central focus on our children and their needs. I have had the privilege of learning powerful lessons from Meghan Troy and other building leaders about what leadership at SMS should look like, and I intend to uphold and build upon the values as articulated in our mission statement.Having previously served in an interim leadership position, I am familiar with the challenges and opportunities that come with it. I firmly believe that the meaningful work of schools should never be put on hold due to a change in leadership. Therefore, the important initiatives we are currently engaged in, such as school climate and student behavior, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), wellness, grading and assessment, and building consistency across SMS will not be put on pause for the year. These areas of focus are a product of our collective efforts, and it is my commitment to ensure their continued progress.

    One of the aspects I value most about Scarsdale is its unwavering commitment to progress, personal and professional growth, and providing a world-class education. These values have been deeply rooted in our institution long before any of us joined, and it is my intention, in collaboration with all of you, to preserve and nurture these essential characteristics of Scarsdale and SMS.

    When I first started at SMS a colleague shared with me that everyday when she arrives and enters the building she smiles.  Over my time here I have learned why the smiles come easy at SMS.  We have great students, a supportive community, and a tradition of excellence that is humbling to be a part of.  I am truly excited about the journey ahead and feel privileged to work alongside your children as we learn and grow together.

    Warm regards,

    Chris Coughlin