Lavelle School for the Blind Seeks Executive Director

The Lavelle School for the Blind (Bronx, New York) is seeking an Executive Director to replace Lorrie Nanry who retired after thirty-seven years of distinguished service to the school, the last three as the Executive Director.

The Lavelle School for the Blind is a New York State-supported school for visually impaired and multiply handicapped children, ages 3 – 21. Lavelle provides these children with a nurturing educational environment in a 6:1:2 classroom setting that challenges them and focuses on their individual needs. Lavelle is one of eleven 4201 schools in New York State each empowered under the provisions of State Education Law and the Board of Regents, to provide unique and appropriate educational programs and related services to students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, blind, and/or severely physically disabled. Students at Lavelle receive a quality education in a supportive environment from certified teachers and staff with specialized training and experience. In support of academic programming students are offered services in the areas of orientation and mobility; occupational and physical therapy; speech and language therapy; and social worker and counseling assistance, all intended to reinforce their development of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that are crucial to their success.

The school offers an array of special facilities and equipment that cater to each student’s needs. Receiving instruction in specialized facilities enables Lavelle students to better perform in classes and helps them reach a higher level of independence. Amenities at the school which support the academic program include: a physical and occupational therapy gymnasium; a sensory room; a computer and technology room; a fully-equipped student kitchen; an outdoor playground; and art and music rooms.

With over a 100 year history of providing services to children with disabiities, Lavelle provides educational programing for approximately 115 students from the United States and approximately 30 other countries, all now living in the greater New York City area. The diverse nature of the student body and the staff is impressive and enriching. A wide range of programs are provided tuition-free to families. Students’ school districts fund their tuition and cover all student transportation costs. New York State reimburses districts, in part, for these expenses. To learn more about the Lavelle School for the Blind, visit

As part of the search process, parents, staff, alumni and community residents recently had an opportunity to provide input to the Board of Trustees about the personal characteristics and professional experiences which should be sought in the Executive Director. Based upon that input, the Board of Trustees has determined that the ideal candidate will be:

  • A respected and compassionate educator, well-versed in the teaching of the blind, visually impaired and multiply handicapped, who is passionate about her/his advocacy for children with multiple disabilities, and one who will reach out to the school community and build strong relationships with the education leaders in the region and the state.
  • A successful teacher [preferably multiply certified, including teaching of the visually impaired (TVI) and/or special education and administrator [certified as a School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) or School Building Leader (SBL) and/or School District Leader (SDL)], in a school serving blind and visually impaired or other students with special needs who will be regularly visible in the school and who is culturally sensitive and appreciates diversity.
  • A visionary leader who is inclusive, transparent and a creative-thinker and one who values collaboration and will take the time to understand the school and its current programs and then facilitate discussions related to expectations for students and implement plans that will better prepare graduates for life after Lavelle.
  • A financially-astute educator who is politically savvy and possesses an excellent understanding of school finance, preferably for New York State 4201 and 4410 or similar schools, and who will advocate and lobby for increased funding, necessary programmatic changes and facilities improvements for the school and its students.
  • An experienced administrator, with superior communication skills, who can work with all adults in the school and on the Board of Trustees in order to establish both short and long-term plans for the school, with specific goals and objectives, and one who can successfully monitor and adjust those plans in order to meet the continuing and ever-changing challenges of educating visually impaired and multiply handicapped students.
  • An instructional leader who will work with all staff to support their efforts with students, who will provide personal support and related professional development, and one who offers clear and consistent direction, holding all accountable for their performance while treating all fairly and consistently.

The salary and benefits for the Executive Director will be regionally competitive and based upon qualifications and experience. Interested persons should go to, click on “Current Vacancies” and follow the application link. A current resume and a cover letter should be uploaded with the application file. The application deadline is March 15, 2018, with an anticipated start date of on or about July 1, 2018.