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Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

Roosevelt Welcomes New Principal

There is an old saying that someone has “hit the ground running” when they show energy, enthusiasm and make a real difference on day one of beginning a new job.  Well, Tami McElwee is already off and running as the new principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School before she has even hit the ground.

McElwee’s first day as the new principal is Wednesday, Feb. 12; however, she met with her faculty well ahead of time and took part in the second-grade Science Fun Night in January. She comes with a positive energy and a smile that lights up the room.  McElwee has worked with Interim Principal. Bonnie Epstein to make the transition seamless.

While saying hello to McElwee, the Oyster Bay community must bid farewell to Epstein, who served as Interim Principal for two months.  The community owes Epstein a debt of gratitude for taking care of the youngest students with kindness, caring and compassion.

McElwee comes to Oyster Bay from the Great Neck School District where she was the literacy coordinator since 2011.

Tami McElwee attended Manhattanville College where she earned a bachelor of the arts degree in English and master’s in teaching and elementary education.  She also studied educational leadership at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Before working for the Great Neck School District, she served as Literacy Coach for Grades K-6 across the Valley Stream School District and as the Literacy Coach for the Central Islip School District. She spent two years as a Primary Regional Trainer for BOCES and an additional four years as the literacy coordinator in the Harborfields School District. Before entering the field of education, she was the staff developer for the Mondo Publishing Company.

McElwee lives in Bethpage with her husband, Craig, and three children, Nick, Brady and Shaelyn. She enjoys having family nearby, with her in-laws living in Bethpage and her parents close by in Lindenhurst.

When not working, McElwee loves to read. She also enjoys Irish Step Dance and running. Last November, McElwee ran her first 5k for charity to benefit the “Run for the Warriors” in Lindenhurst.  She is also involved in Police Athletic League (PAL) baseball and football.

When asked what it is that made her decide to come work in Oyster Bay, McElwee said, “When the opportunity arose, I felt many connections to the OBEN School District.  As a literacy coordinator for the Great Neck School District, my involvement in Teachers College had afforded me the opportunity to study literacy practices in a TC Coaching group with the OBEN literacy coaches. Through this coaching group, I had the opportunity to visit the Theodore Roosevelt School and study the successes within the building.

“Living in Bethpage, a similarly small and tight-knit community, I also feel a connection to Oyster Bay’s small community and its partnership with the schools.  As a parent of three children, the parent community’s desire to have an affordable yet quality education resonates with me,” she continued.  

“I feel honored to serve a community with such a rich tradition and history of providing outstanding educational opportunities for children,” said McElwee.