Julia Downey named new Otisville Elementary principal

JJulia Downeyulia Downey, Otisville Elementary’s assistant principal, has been named principal of Otisville Elementary School.

Mrs. Downey will assume her new role on July 1, following the retirement of Principal Vincent Biele, who has worked for the district for 14 years.

“Mrs. Downey is a highly experienced educator who has the leadership proficiency blended with an important and genuine love for children,” said Superintendent Brian Monahan. “She’s passionate in her belief about how education shapes the lives of our children and displays this every day with her enthusiasm and creativity. She believes all children can successfully learn and thrive in a stimulating, challenging and encouraging learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive, while supporting each student’s unique talents and abilities.”

Mrs. Downey joined Minisink Valley in 2011 as its assistant principal, handling a wide range of student support, school/community relations and building and staff/personnel responsibilities.

“I’m honored and humbled to take on this new position,” she said. “Principals are responsible for tremendously important operational issues in schools. But, ask anyone in this role and they’ll tell you that principals love to foster positive long-lasting relationships with their school’s students, families and staff.  I truly believe that a love for learning begins in the elementary level. Our faculty and staff are simply the best, and we are all committed to preparing our students for future academic and career success. That begins in elementary school.”

Mrs. Downey also thanked Mr. Biele for his commitment to excellence at Otisville.

“During his tenure, he’s inspired students to always do their very best academic work,” she said. “To faculty and staff, he’s inspired us to do the best possible jobs we can to provide the best educational experience to our students. I wish him much happiness and fulfillment in his retirement.”

Mrs. Downey began her career in the Washingtonville School District, holding positions as a fourth-grade and sixth-grade teacher, later serving as a middle school AIS math teacher.

She also served as the curriculum and data specialist at Orange-Ulster BOCES, before joining the Nyack School District in Rockland County as a K-5 math specialist and AIS teacher. .

Mrs. Downey earned advanced New York State certificates as a school district leader and school building leader from Long Island University. She earned her master’s degree in general education from SUNY New Paltz; and her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and secondary math from SUNY Cortland.

The recruitment process for an assistant principal is underway.