Green Chimneys Community Thanks Outgoing Executive Director Joseph Whalen

March 29, 2017

In 1972, a young teacher joined the staff of Green Chimneys School. Energized and newly graduated from Mercy College, Joseph Whalen began his career as an educator.

Within five years, Joe assumed the role of school principal and eventually earned the position of executive director in 1996. Under his leadership, Green Chimneys grew exponentially, expanding its facilities with a $50 million renovation plan that included a new school building, a 24-hour health center and a new barn. The agency’s footprint was further solidified in 2011 with the completion of state-of-the-art student residences and again, recently, with the opening a new classroom building in March. Recognized as one of Green Chimneys’ greatest programmatic expansions, Joe also led the 2008 acquisition of Clearpool Education Center in Carmel, NY, further increasing our education services for children with special needs, as well as outdoor education offerings for the greater community.

In his 45 years of service, Joe built an organization that serves thousands of children and families each year and employs nearly 500 full time staff members to deliver much-needed, quality services to some of the region’s most vulnerable children. All the while, Joe continued to make time for our students, whether it was planting trees on campus or rewarding a child’s growth with one-on-one time fishing.

As Joe prepares for a well-deserved retirement to enjoy various roles as husband, dad, grandfather, volunteer and confidant, we are overcome with gratitude. For your leadership, your acumen and your heart, thank you Joe!