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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Alanna Rice becomes interim acting assistant principal of Instructional Support Services

Alanna+Rice+becomes+the+new+interim+acting+assistant+principal+of+ISS+
Ryan Chen
Alanna Rice becomes the new interim acting assistant principal of ISS
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In the last decade, the Instructional Support Services (ISS) department at Townsend Harris High School has grown in leaps and bounds. In 2018, former Assistant Principal Georgia Brandeis was hired as the first ISS Assistant Principal, setting the standard for the school’s approach to special education. After Ms. Brandeis took a job at the DOE’s central offices earlier this school year, the search for a new ISS Assistant Principal began. Earlier this term, Ms. Alanna Rice was hired as interim acting assistant principal of ISS and has now been working in that post since early April.

“My goal to come in, especially at this time of the school year, was to hit the ground learning,” Ms. Rice told The Classic.  “I wanted to see all the systems that were in place. …There are amazing people who work here and it’s an amazing school. Although I bring a lot to the table, I know I have a lot to learn, and I’ve got to take a learner’s stance.”

Ms. Rice said she has always loved high school. She began working as a chorus teacher at Martin Van Buren High School and later taught at Young Women’s Leadership School. More recently, she worked as the overseer of an elementary magnet program.

“I am very excited to have Ms. Rice as part of the administrative team,” said Acting Principal Ellen Fee. “She is a team player and she already has supported me, and I know that she has been supporting teachers and students.”

“I am so happy that Ms. Rice is now part of our team, and I know that she will be an outstanding leader in her department. …The ISS and Guidance departments have always worked closely together to achieve [the] mission of knowing all students well and offering them holistic support,” said Jessica Graf, the Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS). She said she has no doubt that that will continue under Ms. Rice’s leadership.

Ms. Rice explained how communicating with the teachers who ran the ISS department after Ms. Brandeis’s absence has made her transition much easier.

“There are five teachers that have been taking on different roles in the ISS department [since Ms. Brandeis left],” she said. “We’re in deep communication with each other, always learning, talking about what we’re all doing. …we’re in this together.”

Ms. Fee praised the teachers who took on additional responsibilities in Ms. Brandeis’s absence: Nancy Badum, Vidya Chow, Natali Frank, Kathy Gelbman and Brian Remy. She said

“We assembled a great team of “avengers” – of teachers and teacher leaders to perform the tasks that Ms. Brandeis used to do,” Ms. Fee said. “Unfortunately, it’s more than just tasks that need to get done, it’s also […] a whole department to run and a mission to serve our students well. To do that, the most efficient and best way is to hire a new assistant principal to take the helm for this important mission of our school.”

Mr. Rafal Olechowski, the Assistant Principal of World Languages and History discussed the responsibilities Ms. Rice would be taking on as ISS AP. “Every student has a different way of learning,” he said. “She must make sure every student receives the style of learning that best suits them. It’s a very technical job, little details matter.”

Ms. Fee said that the biggest job when in charge of the ISS department is ensuring that the students’ needs are met.

She said she believes that the team has grown in significant ways in the last couple of years and “became the experts at providing a place for students not just to survive, but thrive and succeed.”

Ms. Rice said that she is prepared to begin her journey at THHS.

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About the Contributors
Malihah Islam
Malihah Islam, Science & Technology Editor
Malihah is a sophomore at THHS. She loves to read books, paint, and write during her free time. Her passion for STEM drives her to be a part of the Sci & Tech Department in The Classic!
Mirabelle Miketa-Garcia
Mirabelle Miketa-Garcia, Features Editor
Mirabelle Miketa-Garcia is a sophomore at Townsend Harris High School. She is passionate about running, reading, and music. When she's not studying or researching for a new article, she can be found hanging out with friends or experimenting with new recipes.
Methulia Medage
Methulia Medage, News Editor
Methulia Medage is a sophomore at Townsend Harris High School. She loves engaging in heated debates about world issues, painting, and baking.
Ryan Chen
Ryan Chen, Managing Editor
Ryan Chen is a sophomore at THHS. In his free time, he loves to do anything related to cameras (with still photography being his favorite), and The Classic has allowed him to explore those passions. He's happy to be part of The Classic, which has always been welcoming, supportive, and full of amazing people running this one-of-a-kind newspaper.
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