News Ticker

District Hires Principal for Grimes Elementary School

Grimes Elementary School Principal Erik Van Gunten

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (Aug. 24, 2016) — Mount Vernon City School District is proud to announce its hiring of Erik Van Gunten as the principal of Grimes Elementary School. Van Gunten previously worked as assistant principal at PS 16 in New York City and as dean at PS 83, struggling schools he helped turn around by implementing a new school vision centered around community building.

Under his leadership, PS 83 won a 2009 “Dispelling the Myth Award,” given by the Education Trust to five schools from across the country that have had exceptional success in educating low-income students and minority students. Van Gunten hopes to use similar community vision principles in his leadership role at Grimes Elementary School.

“I cannot wait to get to know our talented students and their supportive families,” said Van Gunten. “I like to use art and sports to motivate students to thrive in school. I believe in the growth mindset.  Every child can succeed, no matter what.  Teachers need to be open to learning and growing as professionals.  My teachers believe that each child can grow, can progress and learn. With everyone having that mindset, it will lead to positive change.”

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Van Gunten joining our team,” said Mount Vernon City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “His leadership experience in New York City schools will be a huge asset as we continue working to bring excellence and accountability back to the Mount Vernon City School District.”

Van Gunten will be working with the administration, staff, and teachers of Grimes Elementary to implement the district’s new 20/20 Vision.  As principal, he will ensure that the academic improvement plan is data-driven and adheres to local and state standards.

About Mount Vernon City School District: With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students.


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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