NEW ROCHELLE, NY — After serving more than 20 years at Isaac E. Young Middle School as a counselor, Assistant Principal and interim Principal, Dr. Tawanda Robinson calls the place “my forever school.” Tonight, she was named permanent Principal of the school by the New Rochelle Board of Education.
“For as long as I work with students directly, this is the place where I see myself,” Dr. Robinson said. “The community is amazing. The students are smart and compassionate, and the staff truly cares for them. It’s the place where I always want to be.”
Her appointment takes effect July 1. She has served as Interim Principal since the previous principal, Dr. Anthony Bongo, became Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Support Services in 2019. Prior to that, Dr. Robinson had served as Assistant Principal since 2005, having come to IEYMS as a counselor in 1999.
“We couldn’t imagine a better principal for Isaac E. Young Middle School,” said Board President Amy Moselhi. “She is thoughtful, she understands the students and she has a strong connection with the school community. She has a thorough understanding of curriculum and instruction, restorative practices and academic intervention services for students. There is no better person to lead that school.”
As Assistant Principal at the school of more than 1,000 students, Dr. Robinson initiated several programs, Dr. Bongo said. She created a framework and curriculum for academic intervention services, adjusted the school schedules to create math and literacy blocks and started the school’s National Junior Honor Society.
“She’s highly intelligent and very organized,” Dr. Bongo said. “She’s very compassionate and she has all the leadership tools necessary to take Isaac E. Young forward.”
As interim Principal, she has continued to innovate, creating the school’s Sixth Grade Academy, which is a program of services and supports to welcome the school’s first-year students to help them feel at home.
Her passion for education began at an early age, while she was growing up in the Bronx and later in North Carolina.
“My grandfather’s sisters were all educators and administrators and leaders in school systems,” she said. “Those are the conversations that I grew up hearing. Also, my parents always stressed education, education, education. It was natural for me to gravitate toward teaching and learning. When I went to college, I was very clear about the academic path I was going to take.”
She earned her Doctor of Education in instructional leadership from St. John’s University in Queens. She holds two Master’s degrees, in administration and supervision from the College of New Rochelle and school counseling from Bowie State University in Maryland. She gained eight years of experience as a social studies teacher and counselor before coming to IEYMS.
“I was impressed with Dr. Robinson from my first meeting with her and she has continued to impress me as she leads learning at Isaac E. Young Middle School,” said Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Robinson serve as the school’s permanent Principal. Her innovative, forward-thinking leadership will serve the school, the students and the community into the future.”