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New Administrator Starts at White Plains High

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- John Orcutt began settling into his new office at the North House of White Plains High School after he was hired Aug. 1. Before school even began, the new North House administrator had already met with fall athletes to discuss sports eligibility standards.

Orcutt's efficiency impressed White Plains High School Principal Diana Knight.

“John has ‘hit the ground running’ and is a take charge type of person,” Knight wrote in an email. “[He’s] definitely a good fit.”

Going forward, Orcutt said his main goal was to support teachers and students in all their roles.

“Being in this position gives me the opportunity to look at large populations of students and be able to find kids who need help and help them,” said Orcutt. “ I get to see attendance records. I get to see their grades accumulatively and will notice that maybe you’re doing okay in math but struggling in English. They come to me when they have problems.”

As one of four high school administrators, Orcutt monitors the progress of about 500 students, most of whom are upperclassman because the South House is piloting a freshman academy program. He also organizes an after-school enrichment program and enforces sports eligibility standards.

White Plains Schools’ emphasis on achievement and success attracted Orcutt to the district. The diversity fostered by the district’s choice program also appealed to him.

Orcutt, who previously worked as an assistant principal at a New Paltz elementary school, said he discovered an appreciation for education while studying at SUNY Cortland.

“I Started college as an athletic training major and it took five minutes of my first class to know it wasn’t for me. So I bumped around a bit. I was an anthropology major for a while and I went to SUNY Cortland where they have a dual degree program in anthropology and secondary social studies education,” said Orcutt. “I knew I liked social studies and anthropology and the more I studied the psychology of education the more I liked it.’

After teaching high school social studies, Orcutt decided he wanted “to do more for the kids” and went back to school to be an administrator.

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