Our Principal, Dr. Schlanger
February 9, 2017
You may see him in the hallways or recognize him from honor society inductions or other ceremonies. What you may not be aware of is that behind his warm smile and firm handshake lies a distinguished background and dynamic character.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dr. Schlanger said that the first “turning point” in his life was his move from his local junior high school to the Carver High School of Engineering and Science, a magnet school, which provided him a progressive, highly innovative, and motivating atmosphere which motivated him. Despite the one and a half hour commute, he was able to gain invaluable knowledge that mirrored the curriculum structure of Brooklyn Tech or Bronx Science. His love of science was cultivated at the school and, in fact, he placed in many science fairs throughout his junior and senior years. Upon graduation, he was brought to Hofstra in New York.
In another pivotal moment to his career, Dr. Schlanger became an RA in the freshmen dorm at Hofstra. His love of helping students cope with homesickness and resolve issues with others blossomed into his first job as an educator. He became the academic advisor for undergraduate students and this led him to earn a Master’s in counseling during this time.
As a college graduate, Dr. Schlanger’s avidity and fervor as a scholar, instructor, and counselor could not be quelled. After his time at Levittown as a middle school counselor, he earned the same job at Herricks which provided him with the multicultural experience that he wanted. There, he decided to pursue an advanced degree and was admitted to Teachers College, Columbia University, where he earned his Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education). His six year term at Hauppauge High School ended with the career opportunity at Manhasset and he has been our principal over the past decade.
Although he is definitively more accomplished, erudite, and versed in both education and the real world, Dr. Schlanger is as passionate about his work and hobbies and as “normal” as us students. A happily married father of two, his inclinations in terms of sports include tennis, running, and weightlifting, the third of which he entered competitions for in college, lifting 300 pounds as a 150 pound college senior. He is also a music lover and enjoys band such as U2, Springstein, and The Cure.
When I asked him about the kind of “fingerprint” that he wants to leave behind as school principal, Dr. Schlanger said that reflecting upon his ten years, he has seen continuous growth, almost 500 students in an 11-12 year period, and has helped foster more development in the form of more course offerings, which in turn provides students with more opportunities. He also said that he would like to be remembered as someone who helped make Manhasset the best place possible as an accessible person and a positive role model. His greatest memories are graduations and senior frolics because he sees this as the “culmination of students’ six year journeys,” which is inevitably sentimental. He claims that these events help him understand the uniqueness of our school and instill him with a sense of pride to be the leader. While he won’t be leaving any time soon, an observation of Dr. Schlanger’s legacy thus far is truly remarkable. As Sam Walton, American entrepreneur and founder of Walmart, once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Dr. Schlanger’s love of the Manhasset community was apparent throughout the interview. Through his charismatic leadership, he has truly and indubitably connected with students and staff and has helped nurture a thriving, learning community.