Arts Education Advocate Takes Lead Role at Long Island High School for the Arts

Arts Education Advocate Takes Lead Role at Long Island High School for the ArtsDr. Chris Rogutsky Bleecker brings a history of outstanding educational leadership and a passion for the arts to the position of Principal of Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA). With a diverse toolkit of experience in several facets of education, Dr. Rogutsky Bleecker is singularly qualified to meet the unique needs of LIHSA students.

"Arts are essential for education," says Dr. Rogutsky Bleecker who, having grown up in family of artists, has a deep-seated passion for the arts. "I believe in the arts," she says. "As Long Island's top arts school, LIHSA provides a nurturing environment that exposes students to experiences and opportunities they could never have anywhere else. Being a public institution opens the gates that much wider for more students to participate."

In 2003, Dr. Rogutsky Bleecker was part of the team that spearheaded the Early College Initiative, a partnership between the City University of New York and The New York City Department of Education, funded by a grant from the Bill and MeLinda Gates Foundation. Through this initiative, she founded the College Academy of the Arts, a public high school for the arts offering NYC students "a vehicle for expression and a lens for understanding." Over the past 11 years, the academy has flourished and has been ranked as one of "The Best High Schools in the Nation" by U.S. News and World Report.

Dr. Rogutsky Bleecker has had a varied and successful career as an educational leader, which she began nearly 20 years ago at Horace Greely High School in Westchester, New York. She soon set her sights on Manhattan, where she became Assistant Upper School Chairperson of the Steiner School. She then took the position of Assistant Principal of Hunter College High School, where she planned a number of alumni events, bringing in notable presenters like Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton. From there, she moved to the Waldorf School on Long Island, where she wore multiple hats including Director of Admissions, Middle School Coordinator and High School Curriculum Strategist.

Dr. Rogutsky Bleecker is an adjunct associate professor at Manhattan College. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a master's degree from Long Island University, a bachelor's degree from Queens College, and a professional diploma as a consultant teacher from Manhattan College. She is a New York State certified school administrator, supervisor and counselor.

Principal Rogutsky Bleecker is preparing to implement a number of educational strategies at LIHSA, not the least of which include increasing enrollment, showcasing the hard work and talent of the students, and maintaining and improving the school's level of educational excellence. She plans to lead by example and to spread her enthusiasm throughout the entire school. "If I get excited about something, it's infectious," she says. "I try to inspire and engage others in whatever we're working on. It's incredibly gratifying to bring my skills to bear in support of a cause in which I so deeply believe. LIHSA's mission of providing a world-class education to students who are exploring and pursuing careers in the arts is that cause."

School alumni such as Blair Goldberg, currently performs in Kinky Boots and Josh DeJesus, is cast in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway production.

A vital regional resource, Nassau BOCES offers state-of-the-art programs for learners of all ages and abilities as well as cost-effective services for school districts and municipalities. We empower students to achieve their maximum potential in alternative, artistic, outdoor, special education, virtual, and career and technical environments. We offer adult education and a variety of programs that are vital to improving the Long Island regional economy. In addition, our technology services form the backbone of many school districts' infrastructure. As the county's educational leader in implementing the state's reform efforts, we are helping to shape the future of education. To learn more, visit www.nassauboces.org and like us at www.facebook.com/nassauboces.

Pictured: Dr. Chris Rogutsky Bleecker takes lead role as Principal of Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts.

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