The Byram Hills Board of Education has granted tenure to two educators at Byram Hills High School, special education teacher Ally Dellacioppa and Jonas Kalish, who teaches math.
The tenure appointments, approved by the Board on June 11, take effect in late August.
Superintendent Dr. Jen Lamia noted that being awarded tenure is not the time for teachers to rest on their laurels.
“It’s the point where you have made a serious commitment to be a part of something that is going to grow and expand over time and reach people in different ways that you didn’t know that you could,” she said. “I think that our two tenure candidates really exemplify that.”
Mr. Kalish, who came to the District with experience at Stuyvesant High School and Blind Brook High School, was drawn to Byram Hills for its cutting edge professional development, Dr. Lamia said. He is eager for feedback, collaborates with colleagues and asks to observe their classes. Mr. Kalish supports strategies to minimize students’ anxiety and has a warm and calm demeanor that puts everyone at ease.
He is a member of the Data Team, has been a part of the high school’s work with the University of Michigan that has focused on project- and problem-based learning and standards-based grading, and has chaperoned the high school math team on trips to competitions.
Dr. Lamia noted that she has observed Mr. Kalish in the classroom, and each time, he asked her questions that showed just how reflective he is, and he has asked her to return to observe other components of his teaching.
“That has given you strength as a math teacher, and knowing that you are as reflective as you are, I know that our students are only getting the best,” Dr. Lamia said. “I’m very grateful that you decided to join Byram Hills, and that you’ve given more than anybody could have ever asked.”
Ms. Dellacioppa’s level of engagement with her students after school matches her strong commitment to her students in her classroom during the school day.
“At any given day, you can go to Ally’s classroom after school, and if kids are coming, Ally is there,” Dr. Lamia said. “Any opportunity that kids have to see her outside of school, they are doing it. She is providing math instruction, and providing support to kids in every one of their content areas in the high school.”
As an educator who has taught or is teaching Resource Room for grades 10-12 and Regents English, Ms. Dellacioppa is also a part of the Skills/Learning Center and the Flexible Support Program.
“If anyone knows about every student’s content during the course of the day, it’s Ally,” Dr. Lamia said. “She will learn anything she needs to help those students.”
Ms. Dellacioppa is also known for hand writing congratulatory cards each quarter to students with excellent report cards or to students who have shown significant improvement in particular subject areas.
“This demonstrates Ally’s commitment to building her relationships with students,” Dr. Lamia said. “We are very lucky to have you here.”