When the Westbury School District Board of Education started on the journey to identify our next superintendent, we stated that we were going to conduct a search for the best person available to lead us into the future. After an extensive national search that yielded more than 30 exceptional candidates from around the country, we have unanimously concluded that Tahira A. Dupree Chase, Ed.D. is that person. We are excited that Dr. Chase, with her record of personal and professional successes, has agreed to join us for the start of the school year on July 1 and that she is as eager to become part of the Westbury School’s family as we are to have her as a member.
She will replace Eudes Budhai, who accepted a position as superintendent of the Nyack schools. His tenure at Westbury ends on June 30. He has served as superintendent since 2017.
“It is an honor to join the many distinguished educators, leaders and support staff in Westbury who have built a solid reputation throughout the State for their collective efforts to enhance academic and social outcomes for children,” said Dr. Chase. “I am also excited to begin a partnership with the residents of Westbury and other stakeholders who have consistently demonstrated their support for public education by building a foundation of educational excellence for the children of the community.”
“I want to thank the Westbury School Board for selecting me to lead this school district of endless possibilities,” continued Dr. Chase. “It will take all of us to continue the transformation of learning and life outcomes for our students. Our children soar to heights unimaginable when they are supported, loved and inspired to actualize their dreams. I look forward to listening to, learning from and supporting our Westbury School Family.”
Dr. Chase’s experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator, her introduction of innovative, nationally-recognized programs to prepare students to be successful in a global economy, her reputation for working collaboratively with staff, community members and other stakeholders, her successful management of the budget process as demonstrated by ever-increasing margins of voter approval and, most importantly, her record of consistently improving student achievement make her the right person to lead our district.
Dr. Chase, who brings more than 27 years of classroom and administrative experience to Westbury, comes to us from the Greenburgh Central School District in Westchster County, where she served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for two years before being appointed Superintendent of Schools in 2013. During her tenure as superintendent, the district’s overall performance on New York State’s 3-8 grade English Language Arts and Math assessment results improved each year under her leadership. Average SAT scores also saw improvement, rising from 847 in 2014 to 1047 in 2018 through an innovative initiative implemented by Dr. Chase and her team. Graduation rates have exceeded 90 percent in each year of her tenure as Superintendent.
Dr. Chase’s record of achievement and innovation has earned recognition from educational and governmental leaders from around the state. New York State Education Department Regent Fran Wills said, “Her development of an inclusive International Baccalaureate program modeled her vision for educational engagement of civic life and diverse international communities. I have known Dr. Chase as a brilliant doctoral student and dynamic caring leader committed to the success and well-being of every child.”
The program referenced by Regent Wills is a fully-accredited kindergarten to high school initiative leading to a globally-recognized International Baccalaureate diploma, making Greenburgh one of only nine districts in the nation to implement International Baccalaureate standards at each school within the district. Dr. Chase also introduced a Mandarin Chinese language instruction program for students from pre-K to senior year to prepare them to compete in a global marketplace in which China is becoming increasingly significant. In addition, she has instituted Spanish language instruction starting with the third grade.
New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is a friend of Westbury, stated, “I have seen firsthand the incredible work she has done innovating, educating, advocating for children and supporting fellow educators in the community that I represent, and I know she will continue to do amazing work. I wish her the best in this new chapter in her already impressive career. “I congratulate Dr. Tahira DuPree Chase on becoming the new superintendent of the Westbury School District.”
Dr. Chase is also being recognized nationally for her accomplishments as a superintendent. In 2016, she was named one of the Top 25 Superintendent’s to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association and in 2020 she was cited by another organization as one of the Top 10 Female Superintendents in the country. She has appeared as a panelist on CNN and as a speaker at numerous educational and professional conferences. Furthermore, she was selected to contribute to two national textbook series, Pearson Scott Foresman Reading Street (2011) and McGraw-Hill IMPACT Social Studies (2020), as a consulting author. She has also been engaged to work with a team of nationally-recognized educators and researchers to develop a culturally responsive approach to teaching social studies content for the Chicago Public Schools.
We are pleased that someone with Dr. Chase’s demonstrated record of increasing student achievement, significant professional successes and wide acceptance as an inspiring, progressive and innovative educational leader has agreed to join us. The board will officially appoint her as our next superintendent at a Special Meeting to be held tonight at 7:30. We hope that you will join us to meet Dr. Chase and give her a warm Westbury welcome.
—Submitted by the Westbury School District