Brendan Lyons, Principal

Brendan Lyons, Principal

High School of Graphic Communication Arts.


Phone: 212-245-5925

Cluster Name:

Cluster 05 (CEI-PEA)

Network Leader:




High School Superintendent Office Phone:


High School Superintendent:


Education Council President:

Alleyne Hughley

Police Precinct:



  1. Lyons seems to be targeting older teachers. The school is in total disarray

  2. untenured but unafraid

    Not an instructional leader to risk ones career over.

  3. Concerned Educator

    Here are just a few reasons why Principal Brendan Lyons at M625 does not deserve his position as principal:

    -According to the Learning Environment Survey, he’s one of the least trusted principals in New York City. 68% of the staff does not believe him at his word (per 2013 survey).

    -77% of the staff felt, in the 2014 survey, that Lyons was an ineffective manager.

    -He’s generated a lot of embarrassing press for the NYC Department of Education. The story about using the bathroom plungers as passes not only got picked up by the New York Post (“Chaos Ensues after high school principal replaces hall passes with toilet plungers”), but also by a variety of news outlets around the country and abroad (including a British one). There were other embarrassing stories too. (For example, there was the one in Chalk Beat entitled, “HS of Graphic Communication Arts in crisis, staff members say.”) These stories are a result of his poor leadership abilities.

    -He has very little time in the classroom as an instructor. He would not meet the new requirements imposed by Chancellor Farina to become a principal.

    -With the exception of the days where the reviewers from the State or the Superintendent were here, Mr. Lyons routinely showed up late to school during the 2013-2014 school year. He is continuing to show up late during the 2014-2015 school year. He usually doesn’t arrive until the end of second period. In addition to that, he often leaves early (before ninth period). Staff members pointed out last year how this kind of behavior shows a lack of support for the school, but he continues to be tardy to work and to leave early.

    -Mr. Lyons was frequently absent from school during the 2013-2014 school year. During Regents week alone, he was absent twice. Mr. Lyons’ presence is also lacking in the 2014-2015 school year.

    -When the hiring freeze was on, he hired general education teachers claiming that they were “special education” instructors.

    -He is notorious for using Danielson ratings as a punitive tool for teachers. If anyone dares to speak out, they will be given low ratings on an observation.

    – Last year, representatives from the The New York State Department of Education came in and observed two teachers teaching and told Mr. Lyons that they were “effective” teachers, and that they should be given an “effective” rating. The administration had previously tried to act like these teachers were borderline ineffective/developing.

    -Some of the informal observations supposedly completed by Mr. Lyons’ Assistant Principal, Matthew Guttman were completely fabricated. One such fabricated observation from last year was from a day when a teacher was not even in the building as she was on a field trip!!!

    -He has multiple lawsuits pending against him. Brendan Lyons is a liability for the NYC Department of Education.

  4. Educator against bullshit

    If the DOE cares even one bit about administrator quality, they should can this guy by the end of the upcoming school year. He needs to find a new profession…one dealing with robots, and not ham interactions.

  5. Concerned staff member

    He’s now the principal at the Monroe Academy of Visual Arts and Design in the Bronx. He’s new… After reading all this we all better watch out. I’ll keep my eyes open.

    • Educator against bullshit

      Discretely record all one on one interactions with this man on your phone. He is NOT to be trusted. He lost all his favorites because he’s a shady character. He even tried to ruin a guy’s job prospects at another school by calling up the principal that my colleague interviewed with and said he was a poor educator. The joke’s on Lyons. This guy went on to win a big apple teaching award!

  6. At a UFT Consultation Committee on 9/30/15 Mr Lyons questioned how a school can have a 47% graduation rate with a 81% effective teacher rate. Hmm, what do we think the attendance rate is for these effective teachers? My guess is higher than the student body attendance which is around 76%? Just saying.

    • Educator against bullshit

      While at HSGCA, Lyons assumed that the school was failing because we were all failures. Mind you, we received kids from all over the city who had poor attendance rates and poor academic records. We were originally a trade school, until Bloomberg got hell bent on closing us and any other school like ours.
      Despite the school’s shortcomings, there were pockets of success…such as the work based learning program. However, Lyons discontinued the program. He also had the arrogance to take every position of responsibility away from older teachers and gave it to newbies. The result was kids without proper programs for almost 2 months. The best teachers cannot solve problems at home, and cannot miraculously change things overnight. No one wants to hear that progress is incremental and slow. Lyons made it his duty to intimidate and harass nearly every teacher over 40 at the school. Resnick, the previous principal, lost a lawsuit based on age discrimination. I guess Lyons didn’t seem to heed the warning. Also, the man can’t speak properly. I can’t tell you how many times I heard him say, ‘irregardless.’ *shudder*

  7. Hi, Educator Against Bullshit, Can send me an email. I would like to ask you some questions. Thanks.

    • educator against bullshit

      If you want specifics, contact Alice O’Neill, Union rep. in District 2. She’s been district 2’s union person as long as Lyons was principal there. You could also have your school’s chapter leader contact the current one at HSGCA. I have no idea who it is at this point. The person who did the job changed so many times due to stress and/or other issues.

  8. Have we all forgotten the fact that were here for Lyons and not Billy??? Also dont begin to criticize me for being a student in this thread. I have to deal with this mans bullshit everyday so dont make me have to deal with yours as well.

  9. Have we all forgotten the fact that were here for Lyons and not Billy?! Also don’t begin to criticize me for being a student in this thread. I have to deal with this mans bullshit everyday so don’t make me have to deal with yours as well.

  10. He was never a good person he would lie and tell us we cloud this he never helped any of the good kids here plus all the bad kids that never did anything he wouldn’t care he would let the, do what ever they wanted while us kids who work hard don’t get anything the last trip we had before he left was six flags he was asshole to us and I for one am happy he gone

  11. He forbid distribution of safe sex leaflet at his new school, MAVAD. I’m guessing Porton’s age would be the reason that Lyons is going after him.

  12. This message is to staff at the Bronx school. Beware of Lyons. Lyons will manipulate staff and administration. He tried to get administration at Graphics to harass and go after staff. Some administrators went along with it and others refused and stood for what was right. Lyons is breakable. Watch your back and report everything to the union. Some occurrences will be newsworthy as well. Stick together – no fear. Be careful with AWD – she is nasty, untrustworthy and someone in his inner circle.

    • Thank you for the warning. Principal Lyons has been misleading parents and arriving late. He is manipulating newer staff members. He has passed all duties dealing with attendance, discipline and follow-up with families to a new A.P. He and AWD have had students in their offices cleaning and doing other duties during the school day but criticize teachers for ineffective instruction. Is it possible to be effective if students aren’t in class? It has become a very hostile work environment. This is largely due to AWD. Where did she come from?

      • Not sure who this AWD character is, but let’s be clear here. Lyons is consistent. He is the orchestrator of the chaos. He just finds people who are unscrupulous enough to go along with his agenda. At HSGCA, his henchman was Matt Guttman. He replaced that lapdog with another person at the new school. Don’t think this AWD character is acting on her own. Any school run by Lyons will turn into a place with low morale, and will be an organizational disaster. He’s really not much of a leader. The dangerous thing about Lyons is that he is a true believer in corporate educational rhetoric. He really thinks that veteran teachers are using methods that are antiquated and that they no longer have a place in today’s classroom. Mind you, the man only has three years of classroom experience. So, what on Earth does he actually know about running a class or a school for that matter?

      • Wondering who hired this man to be a school leader? Principal Lyons is a bully with a shady character. He lacks leadership skills and uses his Business manager AWD to do his dirty work. Both of them are an embarrassment to the DOE.

    • Do you know if AP Tutti Touray or Llermi Gonzalez was involved in harassing teachers while under the supervision of Brendan Lyons?

      • Former Educator Left Profession

        Answer: YES. Absolutely. I accidentally posted about this in the wrong thread but you’ll see a more detailed response further down.

  13. AWD likes pulling students out of class. Against the law to pull students out of class. Student need to be in class receiving instruction. AWD makes it a hostile work environment wherever she goes. Has a reputation – he knows it and approves it. That’s what he wants. Where did she come from? She’s an embarrassment to the educational system. Who’s the new AP? Everyone at the school beware and report.

    • It’s not illegal to pull a student out of class if they are significantly disrupting the learning environment or if they pose a safety hazard. That being said, I have no doubt that this woman is abusing her power and going around making everyone’s lives hell.

  14. Lyons is unscrupulous. During an assembly at Graphics HS (school year 2014-2015) an Assistant Principal CW screamed at students calling them knuckleheads, etc. Lyons did nothing and appeared unaffected. On and on……

  15. The New York Times reports this morning on a wonderful, award-winning teacher driven out of the high school by this principal, who seems like a real loose cannon. Why is this person being allowed to run a school?

  16. Very serious problems with Brendan Lyon as principal. Read this article to see how chaos reigns under his rule. Get him out of the schools:

    “Under Lyons’s leadership, the staffers said, school administrators have neglected to claim thousands of dollars in state aid for career and technical education; cut the school’s music program and given away many of its instruments; placed students in classes outside of their majors; converted an empty classroom into a dump for unwanted instructional materials; and rewritten students’ schedules so many times that some teachers have not been able to assign any projects or grade them.”

  17. * On 09/18/15 Principal Lyons asked me to meet in his office, where he closed the door and in a fractious manner questioned me about the “hat” I wear on my head everyday. I was surprised ’cause in 20 years living in New York City, nobody ever asked me such q question, not even at Motor Vehicle, where they take my ID pictures with my kufi on. During the awkward conversation I felt forced to explain to Mr. Lyons that I wear it for religious purposes …I felt very offended by his question and the way he addressed the matter. I could not believe a New York City Principal would not know that I wear is not hat but a “kufi”, a Muslim cap which is also part of a Cultural attire in West African countries. I was very offended; it was the first time in my years as a teacher that a Principal questions me about my religious outfit.
    That afternoon I e-mailed Principal Lyons letting him know that what I wear on my head everyday is not a “hat” but a “kufi”. I also sent him a wikipedia link about kufi.

    Can an urban Principal in New York City be so ignorant and insensitive?

    • Ulyses 30:
      Ignore this man, and please continue to be you. He is a snoop, and a trouble-maker, not an educator. He clearly belongs in North Dakota, far away from any significant involvement in the country’s greatest city. After reading the NYTimes article about Tom Porton — he has demonstrated his small-minded unimportance.

  18. Why does NYC allow this man to continue to be a principal. I am quite sure that he would not last in a wealthy suburban high school.

  19. Interesting…Brendan Lyons will not give any comments to the media. I don’t know Tom Porton, but I do know Lyons. He is hell bent on getting older teachers out of the classroom, regardless of whether or not they have a track record of success. Sadly, it’s a common practice to harass older teachers. Lyons is borderline mentally ill. There is no reasoning with him. It’s his way or the highway. There has been story after story written about him and his incompetence. Just google the principal’s name and you will hear what it’s like to work under him.

  20. I am interested in whether there is an ongoing legal action dealing with age discrimination. If so, I would like to make contact with the lawyer. Please advise asap.

    • A couple years ago there was. I’m not sure how the suit ended. I think they went with the same lawyer that was used to sue Jerod Resnick for the same thing. Some of the most recently pushed out people (as in pushed out within the last few months) had to sign an agreement that they wouldn’t sue based on age discrimination in order to get their full pension benefits. Shady.

    • The Lawyer is Ambrose Wotorson who had a case the teachers from graphics I heard dropped the case to keep their pensions

  21. FormerHighSchoolTeacher

    In my career as an educator, I can confidently say that for every effective and caring administrator I encountered, there were five times as many disengaged, disconnected and largely destructive ones like this man. By and large, individuals go into school administration for either a larger paycheck, an egotistical power ride or because they are incapable of teaching students in a classroom. I have a feeling that this person is a combination of all three. Anyone who has the gall to drive out a master teacher who has obviously had such a positive effect on generations of students, should not just be removed from the school but from education as a whole.

  22. I'm Outta There!

    Brendan Lyons took over M625 in the fall of 2011. In the three years since he’s been principal, the school has gotten worse and is in the process of closing. Lyons sees it as his mission to destroy the careers of the teachers remaining at the school. His incompetence has been written up in the NYPost, In the fall of 2012, an article appeared entitled “Chaos ensues after high school principal replaces hall passes with toilet plungers.” Moreover, that same year, Gothamist issued a report entitled, “HS of Graphic Communication Arts in crisis, staff members say.” During the 2012-2013 school year, nearly all members of the history department were given “unsatisfactory” ratings and engaged in a legal battle with the principal. While the school is in the process of shutting down (next year will be the school’s last), Lyons’ incompetence should be made public as he should not be allowed to take on any other supervisory position within the Department of Education.

  23. Lyons got removed from MAVAD. Teachers took a vote of no confidence. Karma exists.

  24. What is his status in the DOE now?

    As a union rep what vote of no confidence means if no one answers.

  25. LLyons is such an A%%hole. He is the lowest scum the DOE has sent to persecute professionals who were dumb enough to work in a high need district. Taking advantage of our idealism, committment to public service..Career climbers, with no shame. Llyons married the right woman, with pull in the system. He was fired for flagrant incompetence and then went and destroyed another school! What is wrong with the DOE?? Is his wife THAT powerful? You had to throw him to ruin A school that functioned? He abolished the dean’s office, to give his creature, the business manager her own office. She went on a tirade of haranguing teachers and acting like a buffoon with a dictator’s power.
    See that date of March 29th that he was removed? Well, nearly all teachers got Ineffective Observations rammed into the computer system, before they revoked his access but after he knew he was being fired. And possibly after his actual firing, they left the barn door open to Advance. Truly, Truly disgusting. All these teachers are now trying to get these observations removed. Most of his Observations and the ones he ordered his underlings to make, are total Inneffective, with NO Feedback. Just Hi I can’t do my job, but I have to blame somebody for this school sinking.
    This man is so incompetent, yet he is using words like ‘incompetent’ and ‘awful’ to describe men and women FAR FAR more talented, intelligent, and GOOD at their jobs than this waste of tax $$.
    This guy showed up like 10AM, and left at 3, and took SO many days off. The place was out of control, and every kid knew it. From the very beginning, kids I’d greet in the hall would motion the choking sign after passing him. “It’s Over” Said one, 2nd week of September. I read this page and hoped he’s learned something. No, he became way more unhinged and a complete joke. He was laughably incompetent. We had a Bilingual math vacancy, and one of the ONLY ATRs with that license came for an interview, but this clown didn’t show up. 8am is way too early, he sauntered in his usual 10am. His main accomplishment for almost a whole year of destruction, is growing a beard, so that the picture above is outdated.

    • Markus Shut up. Stop calling the kettle black. You’re just as bad as Lyons. You did the same thing with Memola. You targeted Mr. Skrine and Mr. Mendick. You made up false allegations to get Skrine out. You piece of shit. Now you’re in Mount Vernon because here you’ve never made principal. You lied to parents about putting their kids in the military to get us to vote for you to be assistant principal but when push came to shove you left our kids hanging once you got what you wanted. Memola is as incompetent and Lyons. Different people same tactics. So stop. If you’re such of man. Why don’t you just come clean. Come out of the damn closet already.

  26. Honestly, all that hubbub about posting his address as being a step too far…There is nothing at all that this guy can’t suffer for what he’s done. He’s destroyed opportunity for hundreds of Bronx kids. Think of the kids being bullied left and right, without any consequence, there wasn’t a dean, there wasn’t anything, the student body was ruled by the elements the rest are afraid of. No class had quiet. And with mandatory unlocked doors, guess whose coming to class? All the noncooperative kids that roam halls. Welcome, come on in, there isn’t a thing they can do. We don’t know their names, they’re not our kids. Hey, you, can you leave or else, I’m going to ask you a second time? The only people who knew the kids were the elders they hounded.
    How are these kids supposed to pass regents with the amount of disruption? Or the untold damage to impressionable kids, about merit, competence, achievement. It doesn’t matter kids, what you do, it’s about who you know. Here’s George Dubya Principal to prove the point, a man they all obviously knew to be incompetent on DAY ONE. When on the first day of school, halfway into the day the halls are full of kids without metro cards, programs, any idea of what to do. He spent the day giving out innefectives to teachers for not having lesson plans on DAY ONE. What kind of idiot needs a script for the first day? He should have been doing his job and arranging to have the auditorium for a planned assembly at 2pm. Instead the entire school showed up to a packed auditorium, complete chaos, everybody turn around. Than comes afterschool ELT, mandatory, the man forcing kids to go back to class without teachers! For months the only discipline action was for those who left school at 240 like normal instead of staying till 4pm for Extended Learning Time with no teacher, or if there was one, none of the needed items like computers for a simulation class. Its going to take months to undo the damage to kids, they saw nearly a year of a tragic comedy production. Then they held a food fight riot in the cafeteria. Respect for Education, already something that needs nurturing, is seen as a complete joke. Llyons biggest problem was, anything a professional said from experience, was EXACTLY what needed to be fought against.
    He’s wrecked the lives of dozens of professionals. For what? What did we do? Because We came to work in a high need school?

  27. So what is his status now? Is his “IT” (Andrea Webb-Davidson) still there? Who is the wife and what position does she have?

    • I’m just realizing that AWD is Andrea Webb-Davidson. She was a secretary that he had at HSGCA. She was extremely unpleasant. She wanted you to kiss her ass in order for her to *do her job.* She was basically a bully. I hope she gets what’s coming to her as well. She was so nasty to the teaching staff. She deserves to be fired.

      • All I can say is that she’s not having a good time at MAVAD. I don’t think she’s coming back next year.

    • Andrea Webb-Davidson is just a school aid at MAVAD.. When Lyons was here she acted as an AP.

      • I stood up to her. She never messed with me. She knew better. She only messed with those whom she could intimidate and manipulate.

  28. LOL- This is all interesting… That’s karma!

  29. I can’t find any record of marriage?? Who is the “wife” people are talking about? Also, records indicate he was placed at his new school a week before the school year started as the previous principal had to be removed?? It also appears he was given no mentoring. It looks like the DOE failed everyone here including Mr. Lyons.

  30. The same thing is currently happening at Bushwick Community High School. Two of Brendan Lyons AP Tutti Touray and LLermi Gonzalez have wrecked BCHS. They have employed the same tactics of Principal Lyons and have aggressively gone after teachers. Morale is so low at this school with a high number of teachers trying to leave as soon as possible. These two have wrecked the careers of teachers just because they wanted to. These two need to be investigated. DOE please investigate what happening at BCHS!

    • Gonzalez was the Ap at HSGCA who made my life hell and got me fired for classroom management issues. He was in my class each day writing me up and even told me to resign because I would get a U in June. Of course he denied everything at the DOE hearing.

      • Former Educator Left Profession

        Answer: Yes. Gonzalez harassed older teachers that the principal told him to go after. He gave one of my colleagues a whole bunch of “letters to file” on the second to last day of school. He is extremely insecure. Under Lyons, he gave half of us an unsatisfactory rating in the department. His friends got satisfactory ratings, and people that were not his buddies did not get satisfactory ratings. The ironic part is that Lyons then decided he didn’t want him at HSGCA the following year, and he was treated like crap. Then, mid-year, he got a job at Bushwick Community High School, and we were not sad when he left.

        Tutti Touray gave a “U” to the majority of the people in the history department. She had a first year teacher write up the observation reports, which is against our contract. Only you, the secretary, and your supervisors can see the evaluation report. Only a couple of young teachers got satisfactory ratings. Apparently you have to use flashy technology at all times in order to get a satisfactory rating. Textbooks are passe.

  31. Tutti let a teacher write up her observation reports and gave all teachers under her a U.

  32. I would feel sorry about AWD; she was just an insecure person who felt overly empowered with Llyons. She made her career by hitching her wagon to Llyons. He must have been extremely anti-teacher behind closed doors teaching her to treat us like garbage. Like all of you teachers with Developing and Ineffective Danielson ratings are the entire reason for underclass poverty; if ONLY we taught exactly as Danielson rubric prescribed. According to Llyons ridiculously high expectations (or were they just contrived?) If you do it all higher order thinking and ignoring the content, all group work all jigsaw the kids would be saved and all go to college.

    See; Its not poverty, not disrespect for education, or a dislike of academic subjects they’re forced to excel in to pass those regents ( there is NO job skill related courses in the path to graduating in NYC High Schools). Its not emotional problems, home problems, the anti-school youth culture of America, the low scores of incoming students, the truancy, the lateness, a school culture in which nobody does homework, or the low regard good students are held in, or the parents who don’t check on their kids schoolwork and keep them on task, or a culture in which so many kids don’t even show up for regents…Nope; Its NONE of those things; it’s all you stupid incompetent teachers, especially the experienced ones. You’re focusing on Content?? Where’s the Higher Order thinking??? Notice: “Learned the Content” is NOWHERE on the Danielson Rubric…Remember when teaching meant kids learning a specific piece of content? Yeah I don’t know HOW we ever got educated before Danielson came along and turned Education into one long exercise in higher order thinking. Oh and Rookie Teachers are Always Effective; 10+ year teachers CAN NEVER BE Effective; if your school is “bad.” Just the new hires only. As if we all knew what we were doing in year 1+2.
    So for all those old as hell teachers; like 33 years old need to be cleaned out. OMG you’re 45? And you’re still doing this?? You must be a failure; to a career climbing administrator at 45 they expect to be District Superintendents. Must clean out all you 35+; Lets go after their livelihoods, make them miserable, take away any pride . Students who think you’re a great teacher and say s, they remind you ‘wait a second, Im actually good at this, that’s why I’ve been doing it all this time”

  33. Monroe Visual Arts and Design teachers, I think its time we start a blog on James Memola Jr. Who appears to be every bit as bad as Lyons and his 2 APs Maas and Velázquez aka Daily News and NY Post.

    • Hi who is the principal now at MonroeVAD now? I heard numerous teachers were fired as well as being kicked out of DOE. I may have an interview with them but I want to know the culture going in.

    • Parent and neighbor

      I detest Brendan Lyons BUT… Seems like everyone keeps having problems with the various principals at this school. Maybe it’s time to start looking at yourselves? I mean if 3 different principals are having THE SAME issues then maybe they’re right and it’s the teachers. Not all of course, but enough to be a burden for the students and administration. Anyone ever think of that? As a parent, and member of the neighborhood, I’ve seen some damn good teachers there, but also some crappy ones who NEEDED to go. But is wasn’t always the administration’s fault. Please do some self reflection.

  34. Lyons has gotten so much mentoring throughout the years and he just does whatever he wants. He harasses and does things that are not so legit. Is this with the DOE’s knowledge, at least the harassment part? Harassment by administration which are considered the leaders in education is through the roof and is quite an embarassment. As for AWD, do not feel bad for her. She followed everything Lyons and Guttman said. She enjoyed it and her fake power. As for Chris Williams, he’s another one, but he’s quiet – the observant – then he goes back to administration to tell all and plan against staff. All these characters (Lyons, Guttman, Williams and AWD) were at Graphics causing so much damage. What is Lyon’s location?

  35. Wandering see my previous post. Probably not a place you want to be

  36. What is his status now? Would his firing or let go from his previous school affect those teachers, he’s discontinued, gave bad ratings to? What can he possibly do now?

  37. Where is Lyons now? Where is AWD? AWD is a nut job. Ran into her at Washington Irving night school. Was a character.

  38. Lyons touch my nuts yesterday at a principal party, he was drunk though.

  39. My name is Alex Gonzalez from MAVAD

  40. He squeezed my boobs last year at MAVAD, he said if I let him I could graduate.

  41. Tempest, That is very serious. You need to go to the police.

  42. Lyons was an A** Hole…He use his power to destroy ones life….I almost lost my apartment due to my hours was cut because he couldn’t get me in anyway….I had to get another job to make up the diffents.Yes his side kick was a hot mess also AWD…They will get their…

  43. This guy is a total loser had the misfortune of working for him in 2012-13. Tried to give me an ineffective. I left the school and taught in another state where I have had nothing but good ratings. My new school is one of the best schools in the state even though its in a low income minority area. What a difference good leadership makes. I actually used Lyons as a model of how not to usher in change for a paper i did in an educational leadership class.

  44. Teacher now at Alfred E Smith?

  45. New York City Department of Education higher ups endorse corruption. Be as professional, careful, vigilant, quiet as possible. An AP of Guidance wrote completely false observations of me long term, resulting in me being put on surveillance, phone being tapped and emails hacked. There were 2 hits on my life. While karma is real and the AP definitely reaped what she had sown, she is resp9nsible for my career with NYC DOE ending. Please be careful all because when anAP decides to be vindictive to you and create false observation reports that results in your phone being tapped, your very life can become a target because of people that you listen to in your leisure. Educators, please be careful. There is a diabolical element within the New York City Sept of Education.

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