In 2011 and 2012, Michelle Verdiner earned advanced certificates in educational leadership.

by Cecil Harris

“The classroom environment at Adelphi was very supportive. In retrospect, Adelphi prepared me for what I’m doing now.”—Michelle Verdiner, M.S. ’02

When Michelle Verdiner, M.S. ’02, set her sights on becoming the principal of a New York City school, she turned to Adelphi University, which had already played an important role in her development as a teacher.

“I like the curriculum and the flexibility of Adelphi’s programs in education,” said Verdiner, a Manhattan resident who is married with two sons, ages 6 and 4. “The curriculum puts a focus on knowing the politics of education and being able to put together a strategic plan before assuming a leadership position. And the flexibility was important because I took classes in Garden City and [at the] Manhattan Center, and took classes on Sundays while working full time.”

Having earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology in 2002, Verdiner returned to Adelphi and received two advanced certificates in educational leadership: one in school-based leadership in 2011 and a second in school district leadership in 2012 from the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education. With those credentials, she was accepted into the New York City Leadership Academy, a training ground for aspiring principals.

Currently an assistant principal at P.S. 42 in Bronx, New York, Verdiner will begin a principal internship in January 2015. She’ll shadow a principal at a New York City school before taking over a school herself in the 2015-2016 academic year.

“The school would be a transformational school—one where a significant percentage of children has fallen below state achievement standards,” she said. “I look forward to leading a school, regardless of its challenges.”

Verdiner credits Adelphi’s faculty, including Patricia Marcellino, Ed.D., the former educational leadership program director with whom she took several classes, and Jorge Izquierdo, Ed.D., with being invaluable in her transition from teacher to school leader.

“Ten years ago, you couldn’t have told me I would be doing this,” Verdiner said. “I was a speech-language pathologist and very happy in my job. But as I became more interested in the administrative side of education, Adelphi proved very helpful. The classroom environment at Adelphi was very supportive. In retrospect, Adelphi prepared me for what I’m doing now.”

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