Sewanhaka has new assistant superintendent


Richard Faccio, the principal of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, has been tapped to become the Sewanhaka school district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, effective Aug. 1.

Faccio, who has headed New Hyde Park High for the past 12 years, said he was elated to move into a districtwide role this summer.

“It’s been such a great experience,” he said. “Sewanhaka Central High School District is such a different experience from most other places, because we’re one of only three (central) high school districts (in the state), and to learn about the culture of Sewanhaka has been amazing.”

Throughout his tenure as principal, Faccio helped implement the district’s English as a New Language co-teaching program, assisted in the districtwide introduction of inclusion co-teaching, with special education and general education staff in all grades, and supported a one-on-one technology initiative for grades seven through 12. He also implemented a schoolwide enrichment model and a social-emotional learning model, with district leadership and staff.

After learning about New Hyde Park High’s community and getting to know the other high school communities, Faccio said he was excited to bring his experience to his new job.

“I see curriculum as something that is a living, breathing item that we have to grow with as the years grow,” he said. “To do that, you can’t just oversee curriculum without seeing curriculum.”

Keeping education standards at the district’s five high schools equal across the board is something Faccio said he is proud to have had a role in at New Hyde Park. Now, as assistant superintendent, he wants to expand and refine programs throughout the district.

“There’s always things that can be adjusted and fixed,” he said. “Even if you do it well, you can always make it better. And if you’re always striving to do that, I think you’re going to be successful as a person, and as a district. And that’s really the goal — to take what we’re doing and make it better.”

One of Faccio’s goals is to spend time in each of the district’s five school buildings, to see what’s going on instructionally and to “make Sewanhaka an even better place.”

Before he came to New Hyde Park, he was assistant principal at the upstate Canandaigua Academy from 2002 through 2009, and principal from 2009 through 2012.

“It was great,” he said. “I loved seeing how I could effect change in the student body,” Faccio said.

Building relationships with students and staff is something he believes is imperative to fostering success throughout the schools. “That’s probably the biggest key — when you build relationships, that also builds trust and understanding, and that’s where you become successful,” he said.

Being a leader, he added, isn’t just about overseeing and dictating. It’s helping to support and guide not only programs and curriculum, but the staff and students as well.

Before he steps into his new role, Faccio said, his major focus will be learning the unique needs at each school.

“One of the things I’d love to do — and we’ve talked about this as a district — is to increase college partnerships,” he said. He wants to look into more opportunities for students to sign up for dual-enrollment courses with colleges and trade schools so that they leave high school with more than a diploma.

Faccio earned a degree in accounting from SUNY Fredonia in 1993; a master’s in business and distributive education from Nazareth College, now Nazareth University, in Rochester, in 2002; and a doctorate in education from the University of Rochester’s Warner School in 2009.

Leaving New Hyde Park, he said, is bittersweet, but he added that he feels confident that he will help the district in his new role.

“I get to still be part of the New Hyde Park Memorial community while expanding to four other amazing places,” he said, where “I’ll be able to help adjust the change that we want to see.”