It takes a village…as the saying goes. In my case it took the village of executive leadership, or the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) of the Council of School Administrators (CSA). I am proud to say that I am a product of the suite that ELI offers, School Based Institute for Intermediate Supervisors I (SBISI I), School Based Institute for Intermediate Supervisors II (SBISI II), Advanced Leadership Program for Assistant Principals (ALPAP), and the inaugural cohort of the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership at Sage Graduate School, where CSA partnered with CITE and the Sage Colleges to provide a Ed.D that is designed around the work schedule of school administrators and supervisors.

Growing up in the heart of the Bronx, I learned firsthand the importance of having quality guidance and leadership. With so many obstacles and hurdles that I was faced with, I was expected to become a statistic like many before me. That was not the case for me. If it were not for the wonderful mentoring and support I received from dedicated mentors like those from ELI, I probably would not be in the position that I am today: a professional who is a life-long learner.

Public education is my passion. I have dedicated my entire career to ensuring that every child is given a world-class opportunity to succeed in college and a career of their choice. Over the past fourteen years, I have had the great privilege of serving students, teachers, principals, and communities all over New York. These experiences have prepared me to take on increasingly complex assignments in large urban/suburban school districts, including the role I currently serve in as Assistant Superintendent of East Ramapo Central School District – one of the challenging school systems in the state of New York.

During my prior roles as a leader in the New York City Department of Education I was recognized for leadership, having been honored with several awards particularly by organizations endorsed by the CSA: Latino Caucus, and the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators (ADASA). Most recently, I was recognized by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) as the Latino Administrator of the year.

I make it a point to give back to my community through extensive educational volunteer work and organizational involvement. My commitment to education leadership is seen in various capacities, including presenting at several conferences on school change for student success in Brazil, New York City and Philadelphia, and participating in Urban Educational Leadership Institutes at Harvard and Columbia Universities.

One of my most gratifying accomplishments came after the visit to Brazil where I was invited by my ALPAP partner, Pierre Orbe to lead seminars in Brazil for Brazilian principals and superintendents. Receiving these words upon my return was heartwarming:

“I was on your workshop in São Paulo, with the camera’s crew, I’ve started editing your section and I just want to tell you how inspired I was by listening to you, although I’m no educator I now think about being one…and all that you’ve said, and showed (including the light in your eyes that shows how passionate you are in what you do) really makes me want to to be a better person and fight for what I want and LOVE! You really do help people, just as you were helped once and that’s what I want to do for now.”

My work with ELI has not only been from the receiving end as I graduated to enlightening others through presentations at the Middle School Principal’s Association and CSA conferences. I entered education as a novice student and currently find myself as a life-long learning professional. My desire is to provide the next wave of leaders with the supports that I was fortunate to receive through the proven professional development of the Executive Leadership Institute.

Regards, Alex