Bellmore Superintendent Dr. Joseph Famularo Celebrated as 2024 New York State School Superintendent of the Year

March 4, 2024

ALBANY, NY - The New York State Council of School Superintendents (The Council/NYSCOSS)  chose Dr. Joe Famularo as their 2024 New York State Superintendent for the Year. The Council formally announced Dr. Famularo’s selection at our 2023 Fall Leadership Summit on October 2nd and celebrated his accomplishments and presented the award at our 2024 Winter Institute in Albany on March 4, 2024. As New York’s Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Famularo also represented New York as its nominee for the national Superintendent of the Year, awarded by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in San Diego, CA in February 2024

NYSCOSS President Jason Andrews, Ed.D., superintendent of Windsor Central School District said, "It is my honor to recognize Dr. Joe Famularo as the 2024 New York State Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Famularo's unwavering dedication to the advancement of education and his tireless commitment to the betterment of our schools have set a remarkable standard for educational leadership. His passion for excellence, innovative approach, and ability to inspire change make him a shining example for educators statewide. We are proud to recognize Dr. Famularo's outstanding contributions and look forward to the positive impact he will continue to have on the future of education in New York."
Expressing his gratitude, Dr. Famularo remarked, "I am deeply humbled and honored to be named New York State Superintendent of the Year by my esteemed colleagues. This recognition is a result of the unwavering support and collaborative spirit of the entire 'Community of Learners' in Bellmore, including our dedicated educators, staff, Board of Education members, parents, and community partners. I am fortunate to belong to this extraordinary community, and this honor is a shared tribute, owing no small part to their remarkable contributions. Furthermore, it underscores the significance of the collaborative work I have had the privilege of undertaking with colleagues across the state, whose dedication and shared commitment to educational excellence have played a pivotal role in achieving this recognition."
“Dr. Famularo's unwavering dedication to the advancement of education and his tireless commitment to the betterment of our schools have set an remarkable standard for educational leadership.” 

Bellmore Board of Education President Maryanne Kelly expressed the Board’s pride, saying, "We are exceptionally proud of Dr. Famularo for this well-deserved recognition as New York State Superintendent of the Year. Affectionately known as 'Dr. Joe' among our staff, he has always been recognized as a multifaceted educator, musician, presenter, and author. Driven by his collaborative approach, he places children at the heart of our collective focus. We have been honored to have Dr. Joe as a valued member of the Bellmore Schools for 32 years, including the past 16 years of exemplary service as Superintendent of Schools."

Dr. Famularo further added, "Our district's mission is to foster an environment where everyone actively 'Leads and Learns.' This isn't just a statement; it's a living practice embodied daily by each member of our school community, united in our dedication to 'Inspire to Aspire.' I am just one part of an exceptional team that believes in the boundless potential and unique aspirations of every student. Our vision is a future where every student not only dares to dream but also possesses the tools, guidance, and motivation to transform those dreams into reality."

Dr. Joe Famularo holds a doctorate in educational leadership and possesses seven New York State certifications, including five teaching certifications in the areas of mathematics (7-12), special education (K-12), reading (K-12), elementary education (N-6), and music (K-12). His career journey began three decades ago as a teacher, progressing through roles as an assistant principal, director, principal, assistant superintendent for instructional services, and culminating in his current role as superintendent of schools, all within the Bellmore school district.

Mrs. Kelly emphasized, "Dr. Joe's extensive experience and impressive credentials equip him with a comprehensive knowledge base to address and lead with specialized expertise in all facets of our school community. His forward-thinking mindset and belief in our 'Bellmore Stars Education Program,' coupled with his efforts in developing and promoting our Leadership Principles and Star Core Values of respect, dedication, integrity, trust, and teamwork, have empowered all Bellmore Star Students to consistently thrive in our mission to 'Lead and Learn.'

Under Dr. Joe's visionary leadership, Bellmore's educational landscape has flourished, leading the district to become the first in New York State and the second globally to be recognized as a Lighthouse District for Leadership by FranklinCovey Education. Leadership is deeply ingrained in every facet of the school community, exemplified by the leadership roles undertaken by students themselves. The Bellmore schools regularly host visiting schools from the region for a "Leadership Tour" led by their own students. 

A highly skilled musician, Dr. Joe has ensured that the arts have flourished in Bellmore, earning the district recognition from numerous regional and national music organizations. He takes pride in collaborating with Bellmore's music educators to implement innovative programs that inspire young learners. These initiatives encompass a wide range of offerings, including introductory strings for second-grade students, ukulele instruction tailored for third to sixth graders, and a fifth and sixth-grade musical theatre club that consistently stages remarkable annual productions. Dr. Joe's influence extends beyond the administrative role, as he annually performs alongside Bellmore's dedicated teachers with their school band known as "The Belltones."

In addition to his instrumental contributions, Dr. Joe has composed several songs for students, with a notable example being the touching composition titled "Be Strong and Lead Together," dedicated to the Class of 2020 students who graduated during the pandemic. During the lockdown period, he used his Twitter platform (@doctorfamularo) to personally engage with district students. Every week, he serenaded them with heartfelt renditions of "Happy Birthday" while simultaneously providing informal music lessons, showcasing a new instrument each week in a series of 10 episodes.

Dr. Joe Famularo has previously served as president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, president of SCOPE Educational Services, and currently holds the role of Co-chair of NYSCOSS' Legislative Committee. He has garnered numerous prestigious accolades, such as the National School Development Council Leadership Award, BOCES Education Partner Award, National PTA Life Achievement Award, SCOPE Administrator Service Award, and the PTA Distinguished Service Award, among others.

A highly accomplished educator and leader, Dr. Joe Famularo's dedication to education and leadership is far reaching. In addition to his significant contributions in Bellmore, he has authored a bestselling book on leadership that has garnered widespread acclaim for its insightful perspectives and practical guidance. Moreover, Dr. Famularo's commitment to nurturing the potential of young learners is evident in his authorship of several children's books. These books serve as invaluable resources, helping children acquire essential life skills and fostering the confidence needed to embark on their unique life journeys. Dr. Famularo's literary contributions underscore his unwavering commitment to the holistic development of students, both within and beyond the classroom.

NYSCOSS Executive Director Charles Dedrick said, “NYSCOSS is thrilled to have Dr. Famularo as our 2024 New York State Superintendent of the Year.” Dedrick added, “Joe brings a level of enthusiasm to the superintendency that truly makes him stand out as a leader among leaders. He has been involved with NYSCOSS as long as I can remember whether it be helping new superintendents to adjust to their position, leading his county superintendent group or simply playing his guitar at our conferences. Joe has become a role model for other superintendents across the state.” 

Dr. Joe Famularo derives his inspiration from various sources but, most importantly, from his cherished family. His beloved wife Ann, herself an educator, along with their three children and son-in-law, Eric, Emma, Amanda, and Mike, continually provide him with perspective and inspiration. As Dr. Joe aptly puts it, "They inspire me and make me a better person every day."

In closing, Dr. Joe Famularo emphasized that being an educational leader is both an honor and a profound responsibility, one that demands constant innovation and fresh approaches to inspire students to aspire to their fullest potential and pursue their life dreams. Reflecting on his journey, Dr. Joe stated, "I have dedicated 32 years of my life to Bellmore, with the privilege of serving as Superintendent of Schools for half of those years. I am profoundly grateful to every member of the Bellmore Star staff for their unwavering commitment to our students. As part of our steadfast commitment to continuous improvement, I look forward to countless opportunities to nurture our Community of Learners and empower all children to Lead and Learn.” 

"We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Joe on this richly deserved honor and eagerly anticipate his ongoing contributions to leading our district and the entire state," remarked Board President Kelly. "We look forward to celebrating this achievement throughout the year."



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September 22-24, 2024

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