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Blythedale Principal to Take on New Challenges

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Emily Hersh, the newly appointed principal of Mount Pleasant-Blythedale school, realizes the challenges that can be met on a daily basis as a school leader.

"Education is always a challenge," Hersh said. "Yet our goal as educators is to do just that, to educate these children in order for them to meet their goals."

Each student in Mount Pleasant-Blythedale, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school, is a patient at the Blythedale Children's Hospital and requires special needs. The children receive their education at the school while receiving therapy and medical care at the hospital before returning to their normal school districts.

Hersh began as a teaching assistant at Mount Pleasant-Blythedale 20 years ago and most recently was the assistant principal at Peekskill High School. She said she is more than willing to meet these challenges.

"Being a principal has always been a goal of mine so when the opportunity arose here I returned to be an instructional leader," Hersh said.

Hersh, along with her assistant principal Amelia Carpanzano have already developed lasting relationships with their students. Each of the 142 students are treated on an individual basis while also being taught in a typical classroom setting.

However, due to the nature of the school, students may only stay for a short period of time and new students are moved in. The unique character of the school creates a constant revolving door, but the administration and teachers work to ensure each move goes smoothly for each student.

"We keep our alumni network in touch through Facebook and Skype and things like that to not only keep progress on how they're doing, but also to allow them to help other students with their transitions,"

Although relationships are built  within the  Mount Pleasant-Blythedale, Hersh and Carpanzano aren't upset to see their students leave.

"It's one of our proudest moments," Hersh said. "When we can see a student grow each day and meet success in however that success is defined for that student, it's our ultimate goal,"

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