Jon Alschuler served as the Interim Principal of Fieldston Middle for nearly two years before being appointed to the position of Principal of Fieldston Middle in February 2022. During his time as the Interim Principal, Alschuler forged strong, positive relationships and worked in harmony with the School’s many constituencies as he led the division through two tumultuous and challenging years of the pandemic.
We previously sat down with Alschuler to hear his thoughts as he began his role of Interim Principal. We recently caught up with him to learn more about what excites him and the opportunities ahead as he steps into the role of permanent Principal of Fieldston Middle.
What are you looking forward to in your role as Principal of Fieldston Middle?
I look forward to a number of things: to watching students grow as they progress through Fieldston Middle, to working with the tremendous faculty and staff every day, and to continuing to build a positive and caring culture across all parts of the community.
How have your experiences prepared you for this role?
Being an Interim Principal during a pandemic has prepared me to adapt to situations quickly and communicate clearly. My previous experience here as the Assistant Principal for Student Life gave me great insight into what the student and parent/guardian culture is like at Fieldston Middle. I was also lucky enough to learn quite a bit from my predecessor, Chia-Chee Chiu, who established great systems and really set me — and Fieldston Middle — up for success.
What do you see as a challenge or an opportunity?
Fieldston Middle is relatively large for an independent middle school. One challenge I see is to make it feel as familial as possible. That means continuing to establish the norms, practices, and programs which allow for strong bonds to form amongst students, teachers, staff, and the parent/guardian community. Because our division is still relatively new (compared to the rest of the School), we can continue to create traditions that are unique to Fieldston Middle that will bring people together. In addition, if we can reimagine our weekly schedule over the next few years, I believe this will open up space for new programs that will help make our community feel tight knit and cohesive.
What song do you listen to to psych yourself up?
“Might Get Up Slow” by No Small Children. This band is composed of three independent school teachers, and they describe this song as being about “putting one foot in front of the other,” which is something that I’m sure we’ve all felt we have to do at times — especially over the past two years of the pandemic.
What’s your favorite snack in Riverdale?
The New Riverdale Gourmet Deli is my go-to spot over the summer. They have a huge menu, and I tend to change up what I get, but my favorite sandwich is “The Wolverine,” which has honey ham, melted brie cheese, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard, served on a hero roll.