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2018-2019 Administrative Appointments

The Ithaca City School District Board of Education recently made multiple administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Deborah Ptak has been appointed principal of Lehman Alternative Community School. Ms. Ptak has been an educator for more than 25 years, serving as a school social worker, assistant principal, and principal. In her most recent role, Ms. Ptak was recruited to serve as interim principal of Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins University Partnership School, an experimental professional development school in Baltimore, Maryland.

Keith Harrington has been appointed principal of Enfield Elementary School. Mr. Harrington has served in the ICSD since 2007 as a science and social studies teacher at Boynton Middle School, a district-wide instructional coach, and a dean of students and associate principal at Ithaca High School. Prior to coming to the ICSD, Mr. Harrington was a science and technology teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kristin Herman will be joining Mr. Harrington as associate principal at Enfield Elementary. Ms. Herman has been a middle school teacher in the ICSD since 2013. Prior to this, Ms. Herman was a founding elementary head teacher at Namaste Montessori School in Trumansburg, New York and has also worked as an elementary teacher, instructional specialist, and private reading tutor in Arizona.   
Lauren Wright has been appointed associate principal at Boynton Middle School. Ms. Wright first joined the ICSD in 2013 as a social studies teacher at Ithaca High School. Most recently, Ms. Wright has worked as a district-wide technology integration specialist and also serves on the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council.

Carlan Gray and Corey Mitchell have been appointed as associate principals at Ithaca High School. Carlan Gray has been teaching at Ithaca High School since 2005 and has also served as a master educator, science department chair, and cross country coach. Corey Mitchell is coming to the ICSD from Roxboro Road Middle School in the North Syracuse Central School District, where he has been teaching since 1999. 

Lily Talcott has been appointed as deputy superintendent of the ICSD. The position of deputy has been vacant since the departure of Dr. Matt Landahl who currently serves as superintendent of the Beacon City School District. Ms. Talcott has served as principal of Northeast Elementary School since 2015. She previously served as a district-wide teacher on special assignment with a focus on pre-K-5 mathematics and then as a master educator supporting pre-K-12 professional development, curriculum, and assessments. Ms. Talcott began her teaching career in 2004 in the Bronx, New York before coming to the ICSD in 2006, where she served as a long-term substitute teacher and teacher aide before teaching first grade at Enfield Elementary School for five years.

Liddy Coyle will replace Ms. Talcott as principal of Northeast Elementary. Ms. Coyle currently serves as the district’s chief academic officer, a role that will be dissolved. Prior to becoming chief academic officer, Ms. Coyle worked in various other roles in the ICSD, including teacher, academic intervention specialist, literacy staff developer, and master educator handling staff and curriculum development. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Virginia. Both Ms. Coyle and Ms. Talcott are Ithaca natives and attended schools in the ICSD.

Daphne Shululu has been appointed as director of fine and performing arts. Ms. Shululu has worked in the ICSD since 2012, first as a kindergarten teacher and most recently as a master educator in early childhood. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Shululu also has an extensive background in theatre arts. From 1997 to 2007, Ms. Shululu served as theatre program director at Boys & Girls Harbor in Manhattan and, from 2007 to 2009, as coordinator for the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at Purchase College.

Laura Evans will take over Ms. Shululu’s responsibilities for early childhood education as the district's pre-K-12 literacy officer. Ms. Evans began her teaching career at Enfield Elementary School before working for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for 25 years, most recently as supervisor of elementary integrated curriculum. Last year, Ms. Evans returned to the ICSD to assume the role of inclusion officer, helping to develop and implement practices aimed at creating more equitable access to education for all ICSD students.

Mary Grover, who has served as the principal of Caroline Elementary School since 2013, will replace Ms. Evans as inclusion officer. Ms. Grover began her career teaching English in Japanese public high schools. From there, she worked in Portland, Oregon for eight years as a student advocate and teacher. In 2010, Ms. Grover assumed a position as lecturer and teaching support specialist at Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Excellence before joining the ICSD as a graduation coach at Ithaca High School in 2012.

Karen Rachetta will replace Ms. Grover as the principal of Caroline Elementary School. Ms. Rachetta began her career in the ICSD in 1997 at Ithaca High School, where she served as a reading and English teacher, support teacher, and assistant principal. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Rachetta was the associate principal of DeWitt Middle School. She then served as principal of Dryden High School for two years before returning to DeWitt as a chairperson in the special education department. In 2016, Ms. Rachetta reassumed the role of associate principal at DeWitt.

Donna Lucy will replace Ms. Rachetta as associate principal of DeWitt Middle School. Ms. Lucy is coming to the ICSD from the Cooperstown Central School District, where she has served as high school principal for the last two years. Ms. Lucy was also a founding principal and school design leader of Evolutions High School in Providence, Rhode Island, an innovative school that exemplifies personalized student learning experiences. Prior to this, Ms. Lucy worked for the New York City Department of Education for 12 years in various roles, including science teacher, site supervisor, and assistant principal.

These appointments will further the Ithaca City School District’s mission to engage, educate and empower all students, said Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown.

“Our school district is able to realign the administrative team as the organization’s needs evolve. With the recent appointments, we’ve tapped into internal and external talent to address vacancies and needs in the ICSD,” Dr. Brown said. “Additionally, our team’s thinking is now influencing the rest of New York State as multiple leaders have transitioned into superintendent roles in other communities.”

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101