Suchanski Joins Team Tigers


Vice Principal Suchanski

Sivan Yoskowitz, Guest Writer

Life at THS is unprecedented this year as we try to lead lives as normal as possible amid this global pandemic. Aside from the coronavirus, though, there’s another addition to our school this year. One that, unlike COVID, hasn’t been at the forefront of most students’ minds. That is until now. His name is Richard Suchanski, and he is our new Vice-Principal.

Believe it or not, Suchanski didn’t dream of becoming a high school vice-principal as a young child. Instead, he wanted to become a professional football or baseball player. But that dream never materialized. Instead, Suchanski said, “The thought of entering education as a profession really came to shape as I entered my junior year in high school, I had passionate teachers and coaches who I respected and admired, and I loved history class, going to museums, and watching documentaries. It seemed like a good idea at the time to try out education and pick a college/university that had education as a major.” And as Suchanski tried his hand at education, he became the first in his family to graduate college with a master’s degree. This is one of his greatest accomplishments. Some other achievements of his include becoming a father and a head high school basketball coach.

Suchanski got his undergraduate degree from Montclair State University and his master’s from Caldwell College. He then went on to many different schools where he both taught and coached. “I was a high school social science educator and coach at Bloomfield and David Brearley High School,” Suchanski said. “I coached football, baseball, basketball, track and field, volleyball, and softball.” Suchanski was also the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director (AD) at Roselle Park High School, as well as the Director of Athletics and Supervisor of Health and Physical Education in the Englewood Public School District.

Suchanski was familiar with Tenafly’s athletic programs even before becoming the new THS Vice Principal because of his four-year experience as the AD of Englewood. “Before arriving here, I viewed Tenafly High School as having above-average sports programs and a respectful community,” Suchanski said. He has received a warm welcome from everyone at THS and sees the value we put in academics. He has witnessed many acts of generosity and kindness since coming to THS but still feels he has much to learn about the school. “Once things settle down and more students are able to attend in-person learning, I feel I will have a better understanding of how the high school operates and functions.”

Not many know exactly what it is Suchanski does as the Vice Principal at THS. “Since starting in late August, some of my immediate tasks were to assist Mr. Morrison in getting the school ready for hybrid learning,” Suchanski said. “Safety protocols needed to be carried out and communicated to our staff, students, and parents to safely open and to keep the doors open for this school year.” Suchanski organized his store of summer books to distribute them to students, worked on the school schedule, and just recently organized the distribution of the new Chromebooks. Suchanski proved a great help in the process, assisting Principal Morrison in everything he needed to accomplish before and during the start of the school year.

The future is more uncertain than ever. Whatever will come of it, though, we can be certain that Suchanski will provide all the assistance he can. “My initial goal as Vice Principal is to assist both the staff and students in navigating through this difficult and challenging school year,” Suchanski said. His long-term plan exploring new teaching strategies and finding resources to ensure THS students with the best overall experience. “Creating a safe, dynamic, and engaging environment for both students and staff is an ongoing task that administrators face, I intend to do my best as a member in Mr. Morrison’s A-team in achieving that goal.” Suchanski plans on attending as many after-school activities as possible in order to see THS students outside the classroom environment, as well as their displayed talents. “I want to witness and experience as much tiger pride as I can!”