Deirdre Budd has been a principal of P.S. 178 in Washington Heights, New York since 2001. Deirdre firmly believes in shared leadership and collaborative education. She encourages her staff to use a team approach to create an environment where everyone is an active learner. The school is an early childhood community of learners encompassing children, staff and parents. The school's philosophy is one that is based on inclusiveness. We take pride in our diversity and strive to embrace a social compact of respect and acceptance. We believe that young children thrive in a child-centered environment where both innovative and proven teaching practices are valued. Deirdre's school is recognized for its creative and therapeutic methods for teaching Autistic children, as well as its team approach within Collaborative classrooms.