SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y.— Sleepy Hollow High School Principal Carol L. Conklin-Spillane will announce her resignation after 22 years in that position at Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting, she said in a phone interview with Daily Voice.
Spillane, a longtime resident of Rockland who now lives in Old Tappan, N.J., has served as the high school’s principal since 1994, and she will officially step down at the end of the school year on June 30.
“There are people who started teaching out of college, and now they’re middle-aged, and I’m the only principal they’ve ever had," Spillane said, likening the experience to sending her daughter off to college. “The success we’ve achieved isn’t a mistake. If I did my job right, it’s time for her to fly.”
Under Spillane’s leadership, Sleepy Hollow High School has received several state and national distinctions, and in 2012, Spillane was named Outstanding Regional Administrator of the Year by the Empire State Supervisors and Administrators Association.
Next year, Spillane plans to begin working with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and helping determine how schools can find strong leadership.
“I believe that the key to reform really lies in our ability to make sure that we have great school leaders,” she said. “I’m hoping that I will contribute to that work and that’s where I see myself going forward.”
Between October and December, Spillane participated in a statewide task force to provide recommendations for New York’s Common Core curriculum.
In the meantime, Spillane is confident that Sleepy Hollow High School will find the right replacement
“I really value this community and I value my staff,” Spillane said. “I wanted everybody to understand what my personal plans look like so that they can find a great match for this faculty and this community and I have no doubt that they will.”
In April, Spillane was featured in Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement video, saying, “I’m getting ready to retire soon. Retirement means reinventing yourself in many ways.”