Sean C. Feeney, Ph.D., is a nationally known advocate for effective school reform led by knowledgeable professional educators and the communities they serve. His work organizing school leaders, teachers and parents has inspired many across New York State and the country to become more involved in policy decisions regarding our schools and our young people. Too often these decisions, which directly impact our students and the educators who teach and mentor them, are being made unilaterally by politicians with scant working knowledge of public schools, in conjunction with corporate interests that are not accountable to the public.
About the Speaker
Sean C. Feeney, Ph.D. (Columbia University 2005) is the principal of The Wheatley School in East Williston, New York and President of the Nassau County High School Principal’s Association. Dr. Feeney’s early career as an educator included four years of mathematics teaching and curriculum development in the Central African Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer. Dr. Feeney later moved to New York City and became a founding member of a small public high school. He has taught mathematics, French, computers and physics, and has served as chair of the mathematics department, assistant principal and now principal.
Dr. Feeney is the co-author of the “Open Letter of Concern Regarding New York State’s APPR Legislation for the Evaluation of Teachers and Principals,” a document that served as a catalyst for both local and national activism in the education profession and in communities served by public schools.
Dr. Feeney and Dr. Carol Burris (South Side HS, Rockville Centre Schools) co-authored an open letter expressing deep concerns with unintended consequences of the recently enacted New York State Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (APPR). Reviewed and supported by elementary, middle and high school principals throughout Long Island, the letter was available for signatures in October 2011. Within two weeks, over half of the principals throughout Long Island had penned their name in support of the letter. Within a month, more than 3,000 principals, teachers, administrators and parents had signed the letter, and the movement changed its name from the Long Island Principals to the New York State Principals. The letter has received in-depth media coverage, including in the New York Times, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. As of May 2012, more than 1,500 (more than one-third) of the building principals in New York State have expressed support for this letter.