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Introducing Cherry's New Principal



    Lisa Ihne. Ed.D.

    With big smiles of welcome, Dr. Lisa Ihne, Sayville’s new Cherry Avenue Elementary School Principal, greeted the wide-eyed elementary school children on their first day of school in September.

    The new Principal blended well with the many Cherry Avenue school staff members who customarily assured hesitant newcomers or assisted eager returnees as they walked toward the entrance.

    While Dr. Ihne could empathize with those students joining the Cherry Avenue community for the first time, there was no hesitation in her ability to assume the responsibilities of principal. Rather, it was a smooth transition thanks to her professionalism.

    Lisa Ihne launched her career as a Fourth-grade Teacher in Commack UFSD, as Lead Sixth-Grade Teacher at Commack Middle School, and as an Elementary Summer School Principal for three years. For Ihne, “Nothing is better than working with children! Watching them grow socially and academically is very rewarding,”

    Her enthusiasm for teaching was fueled by positive memories of great educators in her own life. “My High School teachers at Patchogue-Medford were talented educators who went above and beyond,” Dr. Ihne remarked about the people who influenced her, adding “they put forth their best efforts on a daily basis.” Ihne admired how they “really took the time to get to know each and every student, and as a result, worked with each student’s strengths.” 

    After years in the classroom and with the encouragement of key individuals, Dr. Ihne decided to make the transition from the classroom to the administrative office. “While I was working at Commack UFSD, my Principal, Marilyn Wunder, and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Terry Horowitz, who worked there at the time, inspired me to enter the field of administration. They are extraordinary women and talented leaders who made a difference in education.”

    Following this new path, Dr. Ihne became Assistant Principal for the Elementary and Middle Schools at Westhampton Beach UFSD and more recently, for the past three years, served as an Elementary Principal at Bosti Elementary School in the Connetquot CSD before joining Cherry Avenue.

    Replacing former Principal Dr. John Stimmel (who is now Sayville’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction), Dr. Ihne hopes to introduce programs that will allow her to interact with her Cherry Avenue students. One of her favorites is Lunch With the Principal.  “It gives me an opportunity to get to know the students on an individual basis and build relationships with them along the way. It is important that they see me as more than a disciplinarian.”

    Beyond the classroom and school building, Ihne has played an important role as a member of the Patchogue Woman’s Club for several years, before becoming its 2nd Vice President. The Patchogue Woman’s Club is celebrating its 83rd year of service and raises money for charities and scholarships. Many young ladies from Patchogue-Medford, Bayport-Blue Point, Sayville, and South Country school districts have been recipients of these scholarships. In addition, Dr. Ihne is an active volunteer at the St. Ursula Convent and was recently honored with the Phi Delta Kappa Friends in Education Award (June 2013).

    “I am thrilled to serve as the Principal of Cherry Avenue Elementary School, “Dr. Ihne said. “This year brings new experiences for everyone. I look forward to creating strong, home-school connections, through which the Cherry Avenue Staff and I can focus on creating a positive and enriching experience for our students.”

    In turn, Sayville School District feels fortunate to have Dr. Lisa Ihne join our community and wishes her a wonderful first year, with many more to come!