North Rockland Administrator Named Assistant Principal of the Year

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John Kolesar

ALBANY, NY (03/21/2024) (readMedia)-- ALBANY, NY (01/18/2024) (readMedia)-- John Kolesar, assistant principal at North Rockland High School in the North Rockland Central School District, has been selected as the 2024 New York State Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). This award is given annually by SAANYS and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to a middle or high school assistant principal who has set the pace, character, and quality of education for the students in his or her school. Nominees are administrators who are committed to students, parents, and the community and have shown exceptional contributions to the educational process.

To meet all the challenges of the multi-faceted role of an assistant principal, Kolesar says he prioritizes several key strategies, including a student-centered culture, data-driven decision-making, inclusive practices, collaborative leadership, and parent and community engagement. His approach and dedication have earned him the respect of fellow administrators such as Dr. Michael Gill. "Mr. Kolesar's leadership serves as a beacon for educational institutions aiming to create student-focused ecosystems that not only address diverse learning styles but also cultivate a culture of empathy and understanding," reflected Gill.

Kolesar has also been praised by colleagues and teachers for "promoting positive behaviors and fostering a safe learning environment." He has emphasized mindfulness, mental health, and open communication – helping to develop a school culture where students feel safe, secure, and ready to learn and thrive.

Commented Rocky Adkins, a teacher at North Rockland High, "His leadership extends beyond traditional academics, incorporating valuable life lessons from programs like Rachel's Challenge. Inspired by the tragic story of Rachel Scott, the program emphasizes kindness, empathy, and compassion, creating a culture of inclusivity and respect ... Under his guidance, the school becomes a hub of not only academic excellence but also personal development, equipping learners with the skills and values necessary to thrive in an ever-evolving global landscape."

Kolesar received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from St. John's University, his Masters of Science in Education from City College of New York, and his Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration from SUNY New Paltz.

As the New York State Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year, Kolesar is now a candidate for the award of National Assistant Principal of the Year, an award sponsored by NASSP.