Stephanie Lukas comes to P.S. 40 with years of experience in early childhood education and literacy staff development, a love of hands-on science and an interest in technology.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Lukas attended New York City public schools on the Upper West Side. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School and Vassar College, she is now working on her doctorate at Columbia University's Teachers College, where she was a faculty member.
As a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 165 on the Upper West Side for seven years, Ms. Lukas always had living things for her students to touch and observe-including frogs and snails. "At P.S. 40, I'll be going into classrooms every day and working closely with teachers," she says. "I'll be offering support, particularly in the younger grades, and perhaps even bringing my creatures into the classroom."
Ms. Lukas decided to make the switch from classroom teaching to assistant principal at the invitation of P.S. 40's principal Susan Felder, who had worked with Ms. Lukas in District 3. Ms. Lukas says she is looking forward to working with teachers, students and parents in her new role.
"When I taught a class at Teachers College, I loved working with teachers," she says. "You get a different kind of energy and level of feedback when you work with adults." She is also looking forward to getting to know a large group of students and following their progress over time. "It's really exciting to see kids grow and change, and to follow through from the seed of an idea to its actual implementation."
Ms. Lukas will be getting to know parents as well. "I'll be another person who parents can come to with questions, and I'll do my best to get answers as quickly as possible," she says. She adds that she will be happy to share her expertise in writing grants.
Much of her time will be spent working on all those unseen but vital tasks, such as making scheduling changes, coordinating dismissal time, overseeing testing schedules and working with support providers. And she'll be involved in that all-important part of the school day: lunch. Says Ms. Lukas, "A big part of my job will be making sure the day runs smoothly no matter what happens."
Augustus Saint-Gaudens Elementary School | PS 40
320 East 20th Street, New York, NY 10003
Main: 212-475-5500, PTA: 212-420-0170