Today we warmly welcome André Del Valle as our new Head of School. An educator of great experience and even greater heart, he is only the fourth Head of School since MMFS was founded in 1984 and the first new leader in 30 years, following the retirement of former Head Debbie Zlotowitz.
André built his reputation as a dynamic community builder and educational innovator as Head of School at George Jackson Academy, an independent middle school for academically-talented boys from underserved communities that was his professional home for 15 years. After his successful tenure at George Jackson, André took the opportunity to become Head of Middle School at Poly Prep Country Day, where he led a large and diverse division at one of New York City’s leading independent schools, managing students and families, faculty and staff, and budgets and development.
André Del Valle’s career in education began as a third grade teacher in Bushwick’s P.S. 145, as a New York City Teaching Fellow. He holds master’s degrees in both teaching and educational administration and leadership from Pace University. As Head of School at George Jackson, he supervised a $1.6 million school building renovation and led the school through a million-dollar match challenge and a $2 million dollar capital campaign. He deftly managed the day-to-day educational and social-emotional needs of his students while leading the faculty and administration. At Poly, André earned the trust and admiration of middle school students, families, and staff by steering the school through a global pandemic. As the educational and administrative leader of the division, he built “a community of care” during a difficult time.
André said that the decision to join the MMFS community was easy. “I am drawn to mission-driven schools, and it’s clear that MMFS’s commitment to the success of students with learning disabilities transforms lives,” he says. “I knew on my first visit, when I was greeted by upper school students talking about how much they loved being at school, that this was a good fit for me.” André is a lifelong Brooklynite, the father of two school-age daughters, Zoe and Nina, and a diehard Mets fan. His wife, Andrea, is also a teacher.
We’re honored that André has chosen to join our community, and excited to embark on this new chapter with him.