Julia Drake, Dobbs Ferry District

Julia Drake was a teacher for just two years before entering the Leadership Academy and becoming principal of PS 147. She served in this capacity for three years before getting hired as a principal in the Dobbs Ferry Union Free District, at Springhurst Elementary School. Drake’s lack of understanding of pedagogy is evident in her poor management and evaluation skills. Any teacher who refused to practice unethical methods would be targeted, harassed, and discontinued by Drake.

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Ms. Drake is no longer working there at P.S. 147; my first and only year there was also her last. She was unanimously disliked by the teachers and staff. She played the leading role in having me discontinued after my first year teaching because I stood up for my ESL students and refused to back down when she requested me to behave unethically. Once that happened, she resolved to do everything in her power to get me removed not only from her school but from the system. On one lesson she observed, she gave me a Unsatisfactory rating because I did not follow her advice to bring in oranges to help teach my 4th grade ESL students what oranges are in a hands-on manner. These students were effectively fluent in English but didn’t have the writing skills to pass the test out of ESL, and the lesson had nothing to do with oranges.

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Under Ms. Drake as a first year teacher it took months to be assigned a mentor, which is required for all first year teachers. After my first month there with no mentor, Ms Drake assigned the assistant principal, Ms Harper, to be my mentor. I kept asking for a mentor with experience in my certification area. Since I was the only one with that certification at PS 147, this meant extra work for Ms Drake. So instead of finding me a suitable mentor, she assigned the music teacher to be my mentor for the remainder of the year. He tried his best and helped me with some classroom management ideas, but that could only go so far without knowledge in my certification area. I continued asking for someone who could better help me. Ms Drake had a woman come in about once per month or less who had my certification, but her visits were focused on helping me file paperwork, not on pedagogical strategies. There was also a woman who came once every few weeks to help out first year teachers, but this person also lacked any certification or experience in the field I was hired to teach and so… Read more »

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1 more detail on this subject- I later learned that PS 147 never retained a teacher in my certification area for more than 1 year during Ms Drake’s time there.

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