Southern Westchester BOCES Central Administration Team
The District Superintendent of Southern Westchester BOCES serves both the New York State Education Department and the 35 public school districts within this supervisory district. The District Superintendent is also the local and regional representative of the Commissioner of Education for the implementation of education law, the Commissioner's regulations and the policies of the New York State Board of Regents. The District Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer are frequently asked to represent the State Education Department on special assignments.
The SWBOCES management team, which consists of the District Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy District Superintendent, and Assistant Superintendents, provides leadership in the fulfillment of the SWBOCES Strategic Plan.
Harold A. Coles, Psy. D., District Superintendent
Harold A. Coles, Psy. D., was named District Superintendent in August 2013. He joined SWBOCES in the summer of 2011 and was named Assistant Superintendent for Regional Services in the fall of 2011.
Dr. Coles formerly served as Superintendent of Schools at the Greenburgh Abbott Union Free School District , a special act school district in Irvington, N.Y. He also served for five years as director of pupil personnel services at the Greenburgh Central 7 School District, and for five years as a school psychologist and coordinator at the Biondi Education Center adolescent day school at Leake and Watts Inc. in Yonkers. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Lehman College.
As District Superintendent, Dr. Coles oversees the agency's work with component school districts, meets regularly with the region's superintendents, and serves as the New York State Education Commissioner representative in the southern Westchester region.
The district superintendent and chief operating officer at Southern Westchester BOCES heads up an educational organization that employs 1,200 teachers, administrators, and other professionals. SWBOCES provides more than 65 educational programs and services to students, teachers, administrators, and the general public in career and technical education, special education, adult education, and professional development for teachers.
It serves 33 component school districts in the southern Westchester County region and operates with a budget of $112 million.
Jacqueline O'Donnell, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy District Superintendent
Jackie O’Donnell is a veteran educator who has served children as a teacher and school leader for over thirty years. After spending years an elementary teacher, she went on to become an elementary principal. Jackie then took on the role of high school principal for several years before filling the position of Assistant Superintendent. Joining the SWBOCES team as Director of Professional Development in May of 2011, Jackie served as the regional Network Team leader for Race to the Top, leading the area schools in the implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda initiatives. She and her Southern Westchester BOCES colleagues have rebuilt and revitalized the Professional Development Center. The philosophy of the center has been to honor and celebrate the exceptional practices in our area’s schools while continuing to create shared learning experiences that build on successes.
Jackie’s role expanded in August of 2013 when she accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent of Regional Services. Working with more of the BOCES divisions and the SWBOCES Executive team, Jackie continued her commitment of building BOCES services that support districts in the challenges they face each day. Jackie has a deep commitment to collaboration and support.
Jackie continues to serve our districts through her new role as Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer. She believes that her extensive experience as a public school teacher, elementary principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent will help her understand the current challenges faced by educators. She is committed to using her experience and skills to serve children by supporting their teachers and leaders.
Jackie’s role as a wife, mother and grandmother adds to her commitment to our schools. She believes this is a critical time in American education and is honored to be able to be part of the work.
Stephen J. Tibbetts, Asst. Supt. for Business and Administrative Services
Stephen J. Tibbetts has served as Southern Westchester BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administrative Services since September 2009.
In this capacity, Mr. Tibbetts develops policies and procedures to ensure that the financial resources of Southern Westchester BOCES are secured, accounted for and used consistent with applicable laws, regulations and policies. He also provides leadership and direction to the the SWBOCES Business Office and the Department of Transportation.
Mr. Tibbetts joined SWBOCES in 2002, serving as Assistant Business Manager and Treasurer for three years before being named Director of Business. Before joining BOCES, he worked as a senior analyst at Viacom, Inc., and as supervising senior accountant at KPMG LLP., in Stamford, Conn.
Mr. Tibbetts earned a BS in accounting from Providence College and an MS in Educational Administration from SUNY New Paltz.
James A. Gratto, Asst. Supt. for Educational Services
James A. Gratto Jr. has served as the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services at Southern Westchester BOCES since July of 2016. In this role he works directly with the divisions encompassing student programs, which include Adult and Community Services, Career Services and Special Services.
He previously served as the Director of Human Resources. Prior to joining Southern Westchester BOCES, Mr. Gratto served as the Superintendent of Webutuck Central School District and also served as a long-time principal and teacher at Saranac Central School District.
Mr. Gratto earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from SUNY Plattsburgh, a Master of Science degree in Education from Nazareth College of Rochester and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Plattsburgh.