Degrees and Certifications:

Advanced Master of Education in Curriculum & Supervision, Bank Street College Master of Science in Multicultural Education & Literacy, IONA College Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, SUNY Oneonta

Ms. Deborah Mariniello

Dear Families,

It is my honor to welcome you to Lakewood Elementary School in the beautiful town of Congers, New York!  

I began my career 30 years ago as an elementary school teacher in Yonkers, New York, where I was born and raised.  Life took me up to Putnam County, where I continued teaching in Carmel, NY.  After 18 years in the classroom, I made the leap to school administration and served as both a tenured Assistant Principal and tenured Principal of Dows Lane Elementary School in the Irvington Union Free School District in Westchester County.  

After seven years, the desire to be closer to my family and children continued my journey to Lakewood Elementary School in the Clarkstown Central School District. I was truly blessed to be welcomed by and become a part of this school community.   

Lakewood is a truly special school that serves its community with a dedication to high academic standards, a strong MTSS system of academic, behavioral, and social emotional support, and a daily commitment to kindness, love, and acceptance. As a Title I school, Lakewood also offers additional programs and resources to support all learners. 

Lakewood's motto is "Pride in Excellence", and all of our "Lakewood Lions" are provided a safe and loving environment every day so they can learn, be their "best self", and demonstrate valuable habits of mind.

As the principal of Lakewood, I take the safety and well being of each and every student very seriously.  Be assured that our dedicated staff works as a collaborative team to ensure your child will reach his/her potential on a daily basis. 

All students, K-5, are presented with a robust and differentiated curriculum inclusive of reading, phonics (K-2), word study & vocabulary (3-5), writing, math, science and social studies.  We believe in "hands-on/minds-on" learning that is designed to engage learners in the knowledge and skills needed to create meaning. Teaching students how to think and explore optimizes the desire to learn and grow each and every day.  As I often say to students every day, "You will be smarter today than you were yesterday because you are at Lakewood!" 

In addition to core instruction, students will engage in foreign language instruction (FLES) to foster a love of language and culture in Spanish, a cutting edge Enrichment Program which offers rotations of STEM units in all classrooms K-5, a Band/Orchestra and Chorus program for grades 3-5, D.A.R.E (5th Grade), and many other programs designed to enrich and enhance the academic school year such as our Cropsey Farm Alliance, C.A.N.D.L.E, field trips, Cultural Arts assemblies, and more.  Students also engage in weekly special area instruction including: Library Media, Art, Music and Physical Education (2x per week).

At the heart of our social emotional learning is the Yale RULER approach, which incorporates valuable tools to help our K-5 children learn strong emotion-based vocabulary and strategies to regulate emotions to be "your best self".  Every class creates a class charter which serves as an agreement between peers to support one another through positive interactions.  Children learn about the Mood Meter as a tool for emotional vocabulary and regulation as well as how to use a "meta-moment" (aka "Peaceful Pause"), a self-regulation tool in times of need.   All of this work promotes a positive school climate and a strong culture for learning.

The Lakewood PTA is a dedicated group of volunteer parents who work closely with our school community to support Cultural Arts assemblies, class trips, curriculum-based programs and more!  The PTA and school work together to promote an inclusive and welcoming school experience. 

Lakewood offers a morning program through the Clarkstown Learning Center and an aftercare program through the YMCA. Having these programs directly in our school provides parents with a safe and convenient option for early arrival and/or later pick up.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Visit our district and school website for further information.  

You can email directly at

My best to you,

Debbie Mariniello