Written by Judy Epstein Friday, 20 August 2010 00:00
John J. Daly Elementary School has a new principal this year: Mr. Drew Graves.
Mr. Graves is new to Port Washington, but not to elementary schools. Before coming to Port Washington, he was assistant principal for three years at the John S. Hobart Elementary School in the William Floyd School District of Shirley, Long Island. Hobart had 850 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, making it almost twice the size of Daly. It also had a very diverse student body, of white, black and Hispanic students, half of whom were on “free or reduced lunch” programs.
Before becoming an administrator, Graves taught fourth and sixth grade inclusion classes in Hampton Bays.
Mr. Graves, who looks younger than his 36 years, admits to being “very excited” to be at Daly. “Everyone at Daly has been extremely warm and welcoming,” says Graves.
Graves grew up in Holbrook, Long Island, and went to Sachem public schools. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Stony Brook before getting a Masters in Education at Dowling and school administrator certification at Stony Brook. His father was an art teacher in the Islip schools, now retired; and his mother is a homemaker. He also has a brother, age 30, who is studying to become a teacher of English as a Second Language, so education would seem to run in the family.
During his time as assistant principal of Hobart Elementary, Mr. Graves supervised and developed many programs. When asked to name his favorites, he mentioned the “Shining Star Award,” which recognized students nominated for various achievements by reading their names over the P.A. system in the morning; and an Olympic Reading program, in which every class, with its own country and flag, competed for medals awarded to those who had the most minutes of reading.
As he moves in to the principal’s office at Daly, Mr. Graves admits he is surprised at how busy the school is, all summer. “But I love every minute of it.”
Most importantly, Graves can’t wait for the school year to begin, so he can meet and speak with “every single member of the Daly community – parents, teachers, staff, …and, of course, the students. I am really excited about working with all members of the Daly community, to bring great things to the kids at Daly.”