At its May 24 Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education unanimously appointed current Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction James DeTommaso as its next superintendent of schools. Mr. DeTommaso will officially begin his new role with the district on July 1, following the retirement of current superintendent Lisa Ruiz.
Mr. DeTommaso graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences. He also earned his master’s degree in special education and a professional diploma in educational administration from LIU Post, formerly known as Long Island University, C.W. Post campus.
He began his 28-year career in education at the Junior- Senior High School as a special education teacher and coach for the varsity football and lacrosse teams. He also served as dean of students and assistant principal, where he served in this role for 15 years. Prior to rejoining East Rockaway last year, he had served for three years as principal of West Hempstead High School.
In his year as assistant superintendent, Mr. DeTommaso was able to craft professional development opportunities for the faculty on Superintendent’s Conference Days to meet their pedagogical and instructional needs; utilize federal stimulus grant money to provide enrichment and remediation programs to help close the learning loss gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic; work with building-level administrators at the high school to form a partnership with Nassau Community College in which students can enroll in a concurrent program to earn credits towards an associate degree while earning their high school diploma; add opportunities for high school students to earn an AP Capstone Diploma to develop key academic skills they’ll use in college and beyond; introduce the Seal of Biliteracy, a potential program to promote world language study, that prepares students for postsecondary experiences; and continue to develop goals for the Strategic Plan in the areas of achievement, opportunity, connection and innovation.
“It will be both an honor and privilege to lead the East Rockaway School District as the next superintendent of schools,” Mr. DeTommaso said. “After serving the community in numerous roles for over 28 years, I returned to my professional home because I believe this is a special place with unlimited potential. I want to give back all the life lessons and knowledge I have gained from the community as the leader of the district.”
He plans to build upon the many deeply rooted traditions and innovative programs in the school district that will focus on nurturing the learning experience of the whole child. This includes incorporating 21st-century skills that build critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration in the student body. Mr. DeTommaso believes providing professional development opportunities and resources for the staff will be of paramount importance in the success of all our learning initiatives. One of his first goals will be to continue to develop an environment that inspires all members of the community to commit to continuous learning where students become autonomous learners who are thriving to improve, and where we prepare all students to be global citizens whatever their future endeavors may be.
As the superintendent, Mr. DeTommaso plans on continuing to develop the culture where everyone in the school community enjoys coming to school and work so they can reach their full potential every day. Some of his goals include forming a partnership with the Board of Education, administrators and teachers to implement our goals in the Strategic Plan to move the district forward; continuing to collaborate with all stakeholders in the school community to further student and parent engagement; and enhancing the already rich academic programs and extracurricular activities and bring them to a new level.
Date Added: 5/24/2022