Principal Damion Frye joins Seth Boyden for the 2016-17 school year.
Most recently, Mr. Frye was Special Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent of the public school system in Newark. He has a B.A. in African-American Studies from Bates College and a Masters in Elementary Education from Brown.
Mr. Frye has taught multiple subjects and grades, including English at his alma mater, Montclair High, and both math and English language acquisition at The Equity Project Charter School in Manhattan, where he was a founding faculty member. In 2007, the New York Times devoted an article to one of Mr. Frye’s novel teaching methods at Montclair High: requiring parents of ninth-graders to respond to some of the readings he had assigned to their kids.
Mr. Frye moved into education administration in 2011. He was the Director of Math for District 79 of the New York Department of Education, a division that specializes in students returning to school after an interruption. In his post before coming to Seth Boyden, he advised the Assistant Superintendent of the Newark public schools on curriculum and instruction.
In assuming the role of Seth Boyden principal, Mr. Frye has pledged to work with the teachers to refine the curriculum over time. “Seth Boyden is already an excellent school with a great staff, parents, and student body,” he said. “I want to continue the environmental education focus that Mr. Quiles began and ensure everyone is using the outdoor classroom.”
Still, he’s excited to introduce some innovations. He plans to enliven the school’s Twitter feed and start an Instagram account to reach the Seth Boyden community in new ways. His preliminary vision statement outlines a plan to get rid of homework worksheets in favor of more creative assignments, such as “real-world problems, online explorations, creative/expository writing and reading.”
“The only problem I foresee will be my desire to implement some additional ideas all at once, knowing that the teachers already have much to consider,” the new principal says. “Hence, any additional ideas will have to be rolled out when the staff is ready and I can fully support their needs.”
“I am truly humbled and honored to have been given the chance to lead the Seth Boyden community,” Mr. Frye says. “The administration team and faculty will work to ensure that the students engage in learning experiences which are innovative but still grounded in helping to envision what can be possible for students of all ages.”