Green Chimneys in Brewster School Welcomes New Principal

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Green Chimneys School in Brewster is welcoming Tara Cox as its new principal. Cox joins a seasoned administration and education team to oversee daily operation of the special education school, curriculum planning, staff development, and all school programs and processes to support students and families.

Principal Tara Cox

Cox comes to Green Chimneys following her tenure as Assistant Principal at the Bronx East College Academy, which serves more than 500 students in grades 6-12. There her responsibilities included safety, transportation, special education compliance, leadership within the inquiry cycle, as well as supervision of teachers in both the middle and high school.

Her 16-year career as an educator includes elementary, middle and high schools within the New York City Department of Education. She has worked as a special education and regular education teacher for grades K-5 and has taught middle school science. She has also served as a teacher mentor, an adjunct professor at New York University, and as Instructional Coach at the Brooklyn Green School.

“My time in the New York City Department of Education has given me the honor and privilege of supporting hundreds of diverse learners each day,” Cox said. “I share in Green Chimneys’ commitment to caring for the whole child, providing a therapeutic learning environment to support each student’s success, both during the time that they are here and as they become ready for their next challenge.”

As an animal and nature lover, Cox is also looking forward to working across departments to maintain the integration of nature-based programming and related therapeutic activities for all students. This nature-based approach is a key component in educational and clinical services for Green Chimneys students, who face a range of social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

“Principal Cox is an outstanding addition to the Green Chimneys family,” stated Executive Director Ed Placke. “She brings a wealth of expertise, experience, and passion to Green Chimneys School and I look forward to watching both students and staff flourish under her leadership.”

Cox holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education & Special Education from Temple University; a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from New York University; and a Master of Arts in Disability Studies from City University of New York. She is New York State-certified for Students with Disabilities & Childhood Education Teaching (1-6) and as a School-Based Leader, as well as a Mentor Teacher in the New York City Department of Education. Cox resides in Putnam County with her family. Her motto is, “It takes a village.”

Green Chimneys is a multi-faceted nonprofit organization helping young people to maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services, in a safe and supportive environment that nurtures connections with their families, the community, animals and nature.

Founded in 1947 and headquartered on a farm and wildlife center in Brewster, Green Chimneys is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Services include an accredited special education school on two campuses, residential treatment center, animal-assisted and nature-based therapeutic programs, public education and recreation programs, and community-based support for underserved youth and families.

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