On March 24, 2020, the Rhinebeck Central School District Board of Education unanimously appointed Mr. Albert Cousins to the position of Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2020. The Board would like to thank everyone who participated in this process
Dear Rhinebeck families,
I am honored and enthusiastic to join your community and eager to begin the exciting work of collaborating to shape the vision for our schools. I understand that we are now in the midst of an unprecedented global public health crisis and that it is having an impact on our community in Rhinebeck. I am enduring the challenges of the situation in my current district and I recognize the anxiety and uncertainty our students and families are facing. We will get through this together, and I am committed to ensuring my full energy is devoted to focusing on a transition that is smooth, focused on the students, and sensitive to the current global, regional, and local circumstances and the emotional toll it is having on our students and community. .
I do look forward to getting to know you, even if virtually at first. To share some personal history, my background in education spans decades of service as a K-12 administrator, middle school teacher, high school principal, and coach. For the past 11 years I have been a High School Principal at a wonderful district on Long Island. After getting to know the area through my participation as a designer for an area marching band and performing arts ensemble, I made the decision to move to Dutchess county two years ago and have felt at home here ever since. In my rare spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, woodworking, and gardening. For my entire career, my central focus has been providing the most optimal and engaging experience for students — and that will be my driving force at Rhinebeck. Your schools are excellent places to learn and grow and I will partner with you, your children, and the faculty and staff in finding ways to provide the most enriching, contemporary and innovative approaches to education.
As a teacher and coach, I know how important it is that student’s voices are represented. While many teachers and leaders will be in a school building for an entire career, students move quickly through. As such, our schools must be nimble and prepared for changes in technology, social and emotional needs, innovations, and how students learn best. We have an obligation to learn from our students about how well experiences have prepared them, inspired them, and motivated them to live healthy, productive and curious lives. We have a further obligation to make adjustments to better meet those aims. In addition to the critical insight from parents, developing approaches to accurately capture student insight will be an important first step.
As a school leader I have had the privilege to explore many opportunities in mental health, curriculum, grading, assessment, and how time is most effectively organized during the school day. I look forward to brainstorming with you, the faculty, and the Board, about the possibilities we have in the years to come. My first goal will be to learn as much as possible from each of the stakeholders in the Rhinebeck community. I was delighted to meet many of you earlier in the year during the day I spent in the district as part of the search for your next superintendent and I hope to continue the conversations we began. Over the next several weeks, or when the climate is conducive to do so, I will provide opportunities for us to engage virtually. If you are aware of community events that you think would be a good opportunity for us to interact, please feel encouraged to let me know. I have had the fortune to work with, and lead in, high performing schools systems and I recognize the necessity for, and power of, strong relationships with parents, so I am eager to meet and dialog with each of you soon.
The Rhinebeck schools are among the best, and I am grateful to be a part of this community. There is tremendous opportunity to build upon the foundation of your schools and I hope that you share my enthusiasm for bringing a new perspective and new ideas to your well-established history of success and pride. You have my obligation for transparency, energy, engagement, involvement and continuous growth for as long as our strong partnership exists.
Wishing you health, safety, and all my best,