Superintendent of Schools

Joseph McGrath

The Carmel Central School District Board of Education has appointed Joseph McGrath as the Interim Superintendent of the district beginning July 1, 2023. The appointment was approved at the regular meeting of the Board of Education on June 6.  

He will serve as the Interim Superintendent until a permanent Superintendent is selected. 

McGrath joined Carmel Central School District in 2021 as the district’s Director of Instructional Technology and CIO and has proven himself as a transformative leader during his short time in the district. He was instrumental in transforming Carmel’s technology program toward a focus on instruction while inspiring necessary change in our technology infrastructure and systems. McGrath is a highly regarded leader in the field of technology that is passionate about making a difference in the school system with a focus on continuous improvement. 

In the previous two decades, he supported the children of the Mount Vernon school district in a similar instructional technology role. Prior to that, McGrath served as a special education teacher in the New York City school system for several years and became a pioneer in the use of instructional technology as a way to support his students. 

McGrath holds a master’s degree in Urban Multi-Cultural Education from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and a master’s degree in School Supervision and Administration from Mercy College. He is a Consortium for School Network (CoSN) Nationally Certified Education Technology Leader and was recognized earlier this year with a Transforming Education through Leadership & Learning Award for the second time in his career. McGrath has several years of experience working as a member of the Board of Education in another community.

“We are confident he will lead us with the growth mindset, steadfast integrity and Carmel pride needed as we prepare to conduct an extensive search for our next Superintendent,” said the Board of Education in a statement after unanimously selecting McGrath as the Interim Superintendent.

“I am both grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve the Carmel Central School District community,” said McGrath. “This district is an amazing place with incredible people. I look forward to working closely with the Board of Education, our staff and other stakeholders over the next few months to ensure all our students are supported and successful.”

The Board of Education expects the search for a new superintendent to take several months and it will be working closely with Westchester Putnam School Boards Association, New York State School Boards Association, PNW BOCES and the district’s legal team during the process.

The Board of Education will discuss and finalize a specific search timeline at a regular board meeting, immediately following its annual reorganization meeting on Tuesday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m., at Carmel High School. The Board is committed to keeping students, faculty, staff, administration, and the community at large as an integral part of the process. 

From the Superintendent

  • September 5, 2023

    Dear Carmel Community,

    Welcome to the 2023-24 school year. It’s going to be great because with effort and enthusiasm, we will make it so. We are thrilled to welcome the students back to school for an exciting year of learning, growth and community spirit.

    Our teachers, staff and administrators have been hard at work finding new ways to inspire young minds. Their goal is to help all students feel supported, respected and motivated to reach their full potential. We know that kindness is contagious, and we will continue to spread it around showing every student how much we value them.

    This year we will be offering many new opportunities for students, including a new reading program based on the Science of Reading. It will emphasize skills that help children become proficient readers.

    Thank you for being the kind of community that works together to support the schools. I encourage you all to get involved and be actively engaged in the education of our students. A culture of unity is what makes our community.

    As part of our commitment to providing support to the community we also wanted to make sure you knew about this: the NYS Comptroller is returning lost money to New Yorkers. Check the Comptroller’s website to see if you are owed unclaimed money. It is a reasonably quick process that could end with you getting a check in the mail.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Carmel Central School District this fall and wish you all a remarkable and rewarding school year ahead.

    Best regards,

    Joe McGrath
    Interim Superintendent of Schools

    Superintendent of Schools
  • August 24, 2023

    Dear Carmel Community,

    I hope this letter finds you wrapped in the embrace of joy and anticipation as we prepare to embark on yet another remarkable chapter in our educational journey together. The summer sun may have been shining, but it pales in comparison to the radiance that each of your children bring back to our halls as we prepare to welcome the laughter, learning, and shared experiences once more.
    Our school has missed the cheerful hum of conversations, the echo of footsteps, and the sweet melodies of youthful enthusiasm! We are counting down the days to the heartwarming symphony that only our community can compose.

    This year we have the distinct pleasure of introducing not just one, not two, but three extraordinary individuals who have chosen to dance their way into our hearts as our new principals. Ms. Darling at MPES, Dr. Neufville and GFMS and Mr. Piazza at CHS are joining our existing amazing principal team with Mr. Brown at KPS and Mr. Setaro at KES. We also are pleased that Mr. Svarczkopf has joined our ranks as interim Director of Technology. Additionally, we are welcoming several new teachers and other staff members who are excited to support and nurture our wonderful students.

    Can you feel the excitement in the air? These remarkable educators come bearing not just wisdom and experience, but an abundance of warmth, compassion, and the promise of forging connections that will leave an indelible mark on our students' lives.

    School calendars will be sent out on Monday and should be arriving in your mailboxes any day. In additional to important dates, the calendar has lots of useful information including a referral chart and other information on how to have your concerns addressed if you have the need.

    You will be receiving more correspondence from our principals and our staff very shortly with information on the return to school, but I wanted to personally wish you a fantastic school year.

    With warm regards,
    Joe McGrath
    Interim Superintendent

    Superintendent of Schools
  • August 7, 2023

    Dear Carmel Community,

    While summer break is still upon us, we are already looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back to our buildings for the first day of the school year in just a few weeks.

    We are gearing up for another amazing year and I am pleased to share the following recent staff appointments with you:

    Matthew Paterson Elementary School Principal
    At the August 1 Board of Education meeting, Jennifer Darling was appointed as principal of Matthew Paterson Elementary School, beginning the week of August 14

    Darling joins our district with more than 20 years of experience as an educator working with elementary school students. For the last four years, she served as the principal of Concord Road Elementary School in Ardsley, having served as the building’s assistant principal there for five years prior. In these positions, she oversaw the refinement of the multi-tiered system of support for students to strengthen core instruction; led building-level committees including the Safety Team, Culturally Responsive Sustaining Education Committee and the Planning and Performance Leadership Team; and redesigned and implemented a cycle design to strengthen the K-4 literacy program.

    Before joining the administrative team in Ardsley, Darling spent 14 years working in the public school system in the Bronx, beginning as a fifth-grade teacher before transitioning into positions as a literacy instructional coach and then assistant principal.

    Darling earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education PreK-6 from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland, an MSEd in Literacy Birth-6 from City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College, as well as an EDM in Leadership for Educational Change from The Bank Street College of Education.

    Interim Director of Technology
    At the August 1 Board of Education meeting, Daniel Svarczkopf was appointed as the Interim Director of Technology for the district, beginning August 21. The vacancy was created when I took on the Interim Superintendent role and I have been serving in both capacities while we searched for and appointed a candidate as Interim Director of Technology.

    Svarczkopf joins our district from Newburgh Enlarged City School District where he served as Assistant Principal of an elementary school for the last year, having also served as the Instructional Technology Facilitator for the four years prior.

    Svarczkopf’s career in education has provided him with opportunities to develop a unique ability to effectively analyze student achievement data which has helped teachers drive exceptional student outcomes. He began his career as a Mathematics Teacher and Educational Technology coach at Passages Academy in New York City, before moving into roles as a Computer Science Teacher in Newburgh Free Academy’s P-TECH Program and then the Computer Science Program Coordinator at Newburgh Armory.

    Svarczkopf earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Mathematics) from Mount Saint Mary College, a Master of Science in Educational Technology from SUNY College at Oneonta, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from SUNY New Paltz.

    We are excited for both Darling and Svarczkopf to join our district’s administrative team over the next few weeks. Please join me in welcoming them to our district.

    Best regards,
    Joseph McGrath
    Interim Superintendent of Schools

    Superintendent of Schools
  • July 10, 2023

    Dear Carmel Community,

    At the June 27 Board of Education meeting, Ms. Merica Neufville, Ed.D., was appointed as principal of George Fischer Middle School, beginning August 1. Deborah Weisel will serve in the interim principal role with our district through July 31.

    Neufville joins our district with nearly 20 years of experience working with PK-Grade 12 students, families and staff within diverse professional learning communities, and more than a decade of experience as an assistant principal. For the last two years, she served as a high school assistant principal in Peekskill City School District where she filled many roles including the Mathematics and Science Department supervisor, instructional evaluator, grade level supervisor, School Safety Team member, Building Emergency Response Team member and many others.

    Prior to her time in Peekskill, she served in the Yonkers Public School District for eight years as a PK-12 Assistant Principal where she gained experience in curriculum design and development, instructional learning, learning plans, teacher and staff development, assessments, education scheduling, student performance evaluation and more.

    Neufville earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from The College of New Rochelle, a Master of Science in School Administration and Supervision with distinction from Mercy College, as well as an Education Doctorate in Executive Leadership and School District Leader Advanced Certificate from St. John Fisher College. She brings many valuable skills and relevant experience to our district as a seasoned educational leader.

    We are excited for Dr. Neufville to join our district’s administrative team and are confident that her passion and abilities are going to take George Fischer Middle School to the next level. Please join me in welcoming her to our district.

    Best regards,

    Joseph McGrath
    Interim Superintendent of Schools

    Superintendent of Schools
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