Welcome Principal Mark Berkowitz & Asst Principal Bethany Antonelli

The Two Reflect on Their First Few Weeks and Hopes for the Future


Photo by Ellie O'Sullivan

Asst Principal Beth Antonelli (left) and Principal Mark Berkowitz (right) observe the student body as the school day comes to an end.

Ellie O’Sullivan and Lucy Edmunds

Along with the plethora of new experiences that have come along in 2020, PMHS has welcomed a wide range of new staff members including a new principal. Mr. Mark Berkowitz was recommended for the position of principal in April of the past school year stepping into the role held by Mrs. Jeannine Clark for sixteen years. Mr. Berkowitz, and Assistant Principal Beth Antonelli Both were carefully selected after meetings with the board of education as well as student and parent panels. 

Native to Westchester, Mr. Berkowitz is a graduate of Mamaroneck High School. Mr. Berkowitz is the former principal of New Explorations into Science, Technology, and Math in New York City. There, he worked to strengthen their computer, science, and mathematics programs, as well as to extend the inclusion of special needs students and increasing diversity. Prior to this position, Mr. Berkowitz served as the assistant principal at the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies where he also taught for a decade.

Mr. Berkowitz was drawn to PMHS due to its extensive and diverse academic offerings and extracurriculars, and is “thrilled to have joined a district and school community whose strategic goals are centered upon Cultural Competence, Authentic Learning, and Whole Child Care.” He hopes to be in communication with all those involved in the school, so everyone’s needs can be addressed. Additionally, he will continue to foster and maintain healthy relationships between faculty, students, parents, and other staff members. Mr. Berkowitz emphasized “each of us creates PMHS each day” through our patience and gratitude towards others.

As all students know, PMHS is home to many traditions. Whether it be the homecoming football game, the haunted house, or talent show, the preservation of these events is of great importance to many of our students and community members. Mr. Berkowitz, a high school athlete himself, looks forward to experiencing the PMHS Olympics for the first time, but is excited for “celebrating and supporting all that PMHS has to offer.”

Beginning a new job always comes with changes, but this year’s group of new staff have had to go through the additional customization associated with in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the rapid scheduling changes and all the other inconveniences that come along with protecting students and staff health and safety, Mr. Berkowitz stated, “The Pelham community has been warm and welcoming, which made my first-week experience feel warm and welcoming too.” 


The first few weeks at a new school are difficult for any administrator. Imagine, though, if in addition to a completely new environment you were faced with having to revamp classroom layouts, technology needs and hybrid scheduling. Some might have turned tail and started running as far away as they could, but not new Assistant Principal Beth Antonelli. Although the beginning of the school year was a bit frantic for everyone, Ms. Antonelli stayed in good spirits and got the job done. In fact, she says that there were actually some silver linings, like meeting student. Of course, she was meeting them at COVID testing.

She said, “This is new terrain for everyone and we’re all learning together. I commend the teachers for being open to trying new things and engaging students in different ways.”

Currently entering her 10th year in education, Ms. Antonelli was formerly an Assistant Principal at Energy Tech High School in Astoria, Queens. She cites her love of being around and working with kids as a huge reason for her continuation in this field. In just a few weeks at Pelham, she has also established a rapport with teachers and the staff whose camaraderie and great spirit represent the best in Pelham.

Ms. Antonelli aims to help  students use their voices and be heard. One way in which she is literally accomplishing this is by having the Student Association run the morning announcements.

As a new Pelican, Ms. Antonelli is most excited for the Senior Haunted Trail, Olympics, and the Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s plays and musicals.