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NEST+m Principal Retiring after Running School for 9 Years

By Lisha Arino | June 10, 2015 5:15pm
 NEST+m, located on Columbia Street in the Lower East Side
NEST+m, located on Columbia Street in the Lower East Side
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LOWER EAST SIDE — The principal of the one of the city’s most sought-after public schools is stepping down after nine years.

Olga Livanis, who became principal of the New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math (NEST+m) in 2006, will retire at the end of the summer, she announced in an email to parents Monday, which was shared with DNAinfo.

“We have built a great school together and I want to thank all the parents who have been so helpful and supportive in making NEST+m the school that it is today,” she wrote.

Livanis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Not long after she took over the Columbia Street school in 2006, parents began “rebelling” against her, saying she increased class sizes and eliminated single-gender math and sciences for high school students, according to the New York Times.

In 2012, more than 500 parents and faculty members signed an online petition that criticizing Livanis for “being overly punitive” in that year’s rating of several well-liked teachers, “for having not shared important budgetary information with parents, and for the tone she set at the school,” WNYC reported.

Livanis’ letter Monday did not address those incidents and instead focused on her strides made during her time as principal, like bringing New York State Regents math and science courses to middle school, creating a college office and instituting a K-12 world language program.

“I made sure that the school blossomed with school sports and clubs, publications, and performances, concerts, art shows and theatrical productions, which I know many of you have enjoyed!” she wrote.

“Needless to say none of this would have been possible without your support, your children’s participation and our amazing faculty’s commitment and dedication to their students, your children.”

Livanis said she was looking forward to visiting her granddaughter, traveling, reading, taking pictures and tending to her “extensive” stamp collection.

It is unclear when a new principal would be appointed to the school.