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From Principal to Superintendent: Richard Loeschner

Mr.+Loeschner+visiting+Hemlock+Park+Elementary+School.
Mr. Loeschner visiting Hemlock Park Elementary School.

Mr. Loeschner visiting Hemlock Park Elementary School.

Felix Adeyeye

Felix Adeyeye

Mr. Loeschner visiting Hemlock Park Elementary School.

NooR Fatima

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Richard Loeschner, Superintendent of Brentwood Schools, visited the High School’s new Journalism in a Digital Society class on Thursday, September 21, to be interviewed about his recent promotion and career journey. We all miss him profoundly here at the High School as former principal and have been wondering: Why did he leave?

Mr. Loeschner accepted the honor of receiving the position as superintendent because he saw it as an opportunity to reform the district. Mr. Loeschner stated, “Being in a position for 18 years, you see where you can improve an organization…I know what works, what hasn’t been working, and what needs to be fixed.” When a person works in an establishment for such a long time, they see the problems that exist and have better ideas on ways to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Mr. Loeschner is also more than qualified for the position, considering that he has held the occupations of department chairperson, middle school principal, assistant principal, and high school principal. A superintendent must be proficient at instituting working relationships with many organizations within the school and community to fulfill the true potential of the district. In 2016, Mr. Loeschner was named New York’s Principal of the Year by New York State’s School Administrators Association. Although he misses the High School dearly, he has a broader spectrum of duties which will allow him to do more for the District than he has ever done before.

During the interview with our class, Mr. Loeschner described many essential components of being a great student, as well as the skills necessary to succeed beyond the academic realm. A very straightforward piece of advice Mr. Loeschner gave was to “set time aside to study your notes every night.” He added, “If your dream is to go to college, then go to college; even if you are not having a great high school career.” High school is stressful and not everyone is able to attain a perfect GPA or enjoy every class they take. However, college is a new chapter which allows students to broaden their horizons and further their education.

Mr. Loeschner was also asked to comment on the use of technology in schools. His response revolved around using technology to benefit a student’s education, rather than eliminating technology and cellular devices from the classroom. He uses technology for various purposes and expresses that we can acquire great knowledge by simply using the internet. Along with encouraging others to use technology effectively, he is also open to using it himself to share his messages. He currently utilizes the Brentwood School website, but he hopes to expand onto social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

When asked what the qualities of a great teacher are, Mr. Loeschner emphasized the importance of a student-teacher relationship. Besides having a lesson plan, teachers need to build individual connections with their students. Having personal experience with the occupation, his response was, “You definitely need to care about kids. Each individual kid has to become someone special to you. You have to develop a relationship with your students as quickly as possible.” He also said that teachers need to be personally passionate about their subjects for students to feel this way, too. He stated, “Having a teacher that is motivated about their subject area keeps the students motivated as well.” He gave significance to the fact that a classroom should be not only a place of learning and teaching, but also a dwelling of growth for young people.

School superintendents must work well with others and understand the value of building relationships. Building an empathetic bond with the constituents in the district makes the duties of a superintendent more pleasurable and also more effective. The biggest change Mr. Loeschner says he has experienced in his new position is the transition from being responsible for 4,000 students to over 20,000. He stated, “Now I’m in kindergarten and first grade classrooms and it’s fun to see a level I’ve never been involved in before…there are a lot of great families, administrators, and teachers involved in the schools with whom I’m getting an opportunity to work.” His drive to keep working in Brentwood stems from these reasons. He claimed, “I fell in love with Brentwood the second I started working here. The students and families worked their way into my heart from the very beginning and [haven’t] let go.”

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From Principal to Superintendent: Richard Loeschner