Dr. Edward Placke Joins Shrub Oak as Director of Education

Shrub Oak is thrilled to welcome Dr. Edward Placke to the Shrub Oak community as Director of Education. Current Director, Janine D’Anna, MSEd, will join the Pines at Shrub Oak team after a transition period with Dr. Placke.

Dr. Placke brings a wealth of experience to the position as well as a keen understanding of the need for individualized programming for students in a therapeutic setting. His career spans nearly four decades and includes special education and vocational programming from the intimate classroom environment to the highest levels of administration. He began his career as a BOCES special education teacher in the Finger Lakes region of New York and went on to teach college students with disabilities, as well as graduate students studying special education, during his doctoral studies at SUNY Albany. He later served as school principal at the Center for the Disabled, and was a supervisor of special education for Capital Region BOCES.

Dr. Placke took on increasingly challenging positions as his career advanced. Starting in 2009, he served as Superintendent of Schools for Greenburgh North Castle Union Free School District, comprised of four alternative junior/high schools for students in grades 7-12 who have struggled in their home school districts, BOCES or private schools. Under his leadership, the district maintained the highest graduation rate for this type of school system with more than 50% of district graduates attending college, and the remainder of the student body attending vocational training programs or obtaining supportive or competitive employment.

Prior to Greenburgh North Castle, Dr. Placke spent five years as Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities. As Director of Pupil Services for Colonie School District for 13 years, he had oversight of approximately 250 staff in special education, guidance, reading and math (AIS), speech and language, occupational therapy/physical therapy, psychology, and ESL, with additional responsibility for program development and evaluation, curricula development, labor relations, and budget development and monitoring. He later served as Executive Director for Green Chimneys, a therapeutic day school and residential treatment center.

Dr. Placke holds a B.A. in Elementary/Special Education from Marist College, as well as an M.A. in Educational Psychology and Statistics and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from SUNY Albany.

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