About Us

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School Vision and Mission Statement

Through a committed and collaborative staff that embraces change and professional growth, we at P.S. 8, envision an educational setting where all children can and will learn in a nurturing, safe, and risk-free environment and where they will meet high standards of excellence; academically, socially and emotionally. This philosophy is extended to our entire and diverse school community.

Our mission is to provide experiences where children will discover their own uniqueness, personal worth, and academic potential. They will achieve this through individualized differentiated instruction and cooperative learning in small and whole groups. Students will be afforded opportunities to broaden their horizons through activities, which will foster their creativity, intellectual development and cultural and social awareness. Sustaining partnerships between students, parents and staff in the learning process will also have a positive impact on our learning community as children expand their knowledge and become responsible and influential citizens of tomorrow.

“Powerful and Proud”

*Illustration courtesy of Mrs. Jen
*Illustration courtesy of Mrs. Jen

A Message from the Principal

Greetings PS 8 Families,
As the principal of P.S. 8 - The Isaac Varian School, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to a new, exciting year of school. At P.S. 8, we strive for excellence and have high expectations for our students. We are focused on creating a learning environment that is safe, respectful, and engaging and our goal is to develop responsible and dedicated students that are prepared for the demands necessary to be successful in the 21st century.  We welcome your feedback, and I hope you visit our site often for the latest news and school events.
Claudia Tahiraj-Sadrija

Meet the Team

Learn a little bit about the wonderful administrative team that you and your children will be seeing around the building.

Admin - Tahiraj

Claudia Tahiraj-Sadrija


Ms. Claudia Tahiraj, the principal of P.S. 8 Isaac Varian has been part of this school family for the past 21 years. She began her career at P.S. 8 as a substitute teacher and later taught second and fourth grades.  She also served the school community as literacy coach for three years, supporting classroom teachers with professional development to improve teaching and learning. Ms. Tahiraj continued her career path and has been serving as the school's senior assistant principal 10 years before taking over as principal in 2015. As principal, Ms. Tahiraj's goa is to continue to create a school environment where students feel safe, supported, and challenged by the teachers and peers, and participate in activities and events that support a positive school climate and culture of kindness.

A native of the Bronx, Ms. Tahiraj is a product of District 10, having attended and graduated from P.S. 86, J.H.S 143, and John F. Kennedy High School. Her love for teaching and education came short after graduating Fordham University's College of Business Administration with a degree in Public Accounting in 1996 and working  in the business field for only a few years. Her desire and passion to educate others inspired her to go back to school and earned her masters degree in teaching from Fordham University's Graduate School of Education in 1999. In 2005, Ms. Tahiraj earned her second masters degree in school Leadership & Supervision from Bank Street College. Ms. Tahiraj is proud to call the Bronx her home and lives in the Bronx with her husband and daughter.

Admin - DiPaola

Stephen DiPaola

Assistant Principal
Grades K-1

Stephen DiPaola started at PS 8 in 1999 as a fifth grade teacher.  After six years teaching 5th grade, he left the classroom and for the next two years he taught Physical Education and Computers.  Presently, Mr. DiPaola is beginning his 12th year as an Assistant Principal where he supervised fourth and fifth grades.  He is currently the Assistant Principal of Kindergarten and first grade, Testing Coordinator and daily programmer. He will continue this year with these responsibilities.

As always, Mr. DiPaola has high expectations for himself, the teachers he supervises, the Kindergarten and first grade students and their parents.  He looks forward to a successful school year that is exciting and rewarding.

Mr. DiPaola always begins his year by reading and reflecting about the following quote; “Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he/she could have discovered for himself/herself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely…”  Anonymous

Mr. DiPaola is looking forward to working with everyone and wishes everyone a pleasant and successful school year.

Admin - Lopano

Christine Lopano

Assistant Principal
Grades 2-3

Ms. Lopano began her teaching career in 1998 and joined P.S. 8 in 2001. Throughout her years at the school, Ms. Lopano worked as a classroom teacher in grades two through five before transitioning out of the classroom. As a math cluster teacher, she provided rigorous and comprehensive mathematics instruction at all grade levels, from the cheering chorus of Kindergarten to the stoic, yet excited, fifth grade. In 2013, Ms. Lopano joined the administrative team as an assistant principal, a position in which she currently supports second and third grades, as well as manages and analyzes the school's data.

Ms. Lopano says that the best thing about working as an educator is that she gets to positively affect the lives of students, parents, and teachers in the community where she grew up.

Admin - Morales

Carlos Morales

Assistant Principal
Grades 4-5

Mr. Carlos Morales began his career in education in 2000, and for 12 years he taught Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies in fifth through eights grades. He prides himself on being an educator that incorporates technology, challenges students, and attempts to create a positive experience in the classroom. In 2012, Mr. Morales became a staff developer and assistant principal in his school.

Then, in 2015, Mr. Morales came to P.S. 8 to join the administrative team as the assistant principal who currently supervises fourth and fifth grades, as well as oversees the Science and Technology departments. He also heads the safety team and works with the Student Council. With all the many responsibilities he has, Mr. Morales says that his favorite part of the day is being able to sit and speak with students as he does his walk-throughs and visits. "Seeing student progress and getting to know the children is a very meaningful experience."

Ready to Join Our Team?

If you are a dedicated educator who wants to make a difference at a wonderful school, click the button to see if we currently have any anticipated openings.