WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – An “absolutely excited” Christopher Clouet is ready for his new job as superintendent of the Tarrytowns Schools and says he will leave White Plains on June 30 with good memories.
“I have mixed emotions because I’ve really worked very hard here in White Plains and developed some very good relationships with staff and students and parents, but I’m excited about a new challenge,” said Clouet, who is in his fourth year as White Plains superintendent. “I will finish up here on a high note and look forward to the next challenge.”
The Board of Education of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns officially hired Clouet on Feb. 14 with a unanimous vote, but he does not start until July 1. He will replace Superintendent Howard Smith, who is retiring in June after 11 years in the district. The White Plains Board of Education scheduled an executive session meeting for Wednesday, in which, Clouet said, they will discuss the plan for finding his replacement.
While looking back at his legacy in White Plains, Clouet said he was proud that he and the board passed three budgets and a $48.2 million bond referendum at a time of “absolutely unprecedented change.” He mentioned the great recession and “a major change to the teacher evaluation system” as challenges.
Clouet thanked the White Plains community for its support of the school district.
He was also pleased with the partnerships that were formed between the White Plains School District and the White Plains Youth Bureau, public library, Rotary and other organizations during his tenure.
His other accomplishments, he said, included bringing in online courses, starting an engineering program at White Plains High School and Advancement Via Individual Determination ( AVID ), a “special skills / college preparation program for middle school students.” He also opened the “parent portal” online for parents to check their children’s grades.
“Those are the kind of things that we were able to accomplish,” he said. “Those kinds of things were very important and I think are going to be helpful for the district going forward.”
When it came to pursuing the Tarrytown position, he talked to Smith, who he called a “trusted colleague.”
“He mentioned some of the attributes of the district,” said Clouet. “One thing led to another, they were very interested in me and made a very nice offer for me to be the leader of their district. I decided that this would be an appropriate time to make that move.”
Clouet will be making $253,000 in his first year, according to his four-year contract, about $26,000 a year more than he is currently paid in White Plains. The Tarrytowns district has about 2,800 students, while White Plains tops 6,000.
Clouet said the White Plains and Tarrytown school districts face similar challenges.
“It’s marshaling resources effectively and making sure that all students are included in the effort to improve the school district,” he said. “Kids there are great, too, and the staff there are really wonderful just like in White Plains.”
Clouet said he plans on partnering with White Plains when given the opportunity.
“I have many friends here and I live in White Plains,” he said. “It’s an incredible district. I’m certainly going to be supportive of it in any way I can in the future. I look forward to maintaining a partnership with them from Tarrytown.”