June 2018 Member Spotlight - Alex Marrero
Assistant Superintendent, East Ramapo Central School District, Spring Valley, NY
Career highlights & education:
I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University with a major in Business Administration, Dual Concentrations in Finance and Management, Dual Minors in Economics and Spanish, and a specialization in International Business. I then earned a Master’s Degree and three Professional Diplomas from Manhattan College in Counseling, School Building Leadership, and Advanced District Leadership. Recently, I received the Certificate for Advanced Education Leadership from Harvard University. I was the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award from the inaugural cohort of doctoral candidates in Educational Leadership from the Sage Colleges. My dissertation, Dominican Parents' Involvement in Children’s College Aspirations and Achievement Motivation, was published in November 2015.
I have been part of many Educational Leadership Programs, including the Urban School Leadership Program at Harvard University; the Urban Education Leaders Collaborative at Columbia University’s Teachers College; The Center for Creative Leadership; The Executive Leadership Academy; and was an fhi360 and a Middle Start Leadership Fellow. During the summer of 2015, I was invited by the Brazilian Consulate to deliver workshops to their principals and superintendents in Sao Paolo, Rio De Janiero, and El Salvador, Bahia. In 2016, I was honored as the outstanding administrator at the 15thAnnual Scholarship Gala for the Latino Caucus of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) and inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education. In 2017, I was the recipient of the Leadership and Excellence in Education Award at the 17thAnnual Scholarship Gala of the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators, and this year received the Latino Administrator of the Year award from ALAS.
As a Principal in the Bronx, I moved my school from a Local Assistance Plan to a School in Good Standing. I recently became an Assistant Superintendent at the East Ramapo Central School District.
What I like best about my job:
Giving back to my community is a must since I am so very grateful for all the support, guidance and encouragement that I received. It is my duty to provide students with the same stable foundation that I was fortunate enough to have received. My current status as Assistant Superintendent at East Ramapo Central School District reinforces my passion for helping others. An important part of my job description includes but is not limited to: Aiding school leaders, teachers, students, and parents, giving guidance, and providing direction and advice in decision making and planning courses of action. What I like best about being a district administrator is that I am now able to support more school leaders, teachers and students. Being a principal was the best role in my career since I was able to connect and inspire a school community. I foresee my current and future roles to be even more fulfilling. As a superintendent, I see how you can impact a larger community – beyond the school buildings.
The best advice I’ve ever received:
We all have a story, and I should not be afraid to share mine. By doing so, you may inspire others.
As an inner city public school student from the Bronx, I learned firsthand the importance of having quality guidance and leadership. The support I received during my adolescence proved to be most influential in my life. As a youth, coming up in the New York City public school system, I had many obstacles to hurdle in order to reach my full potential. If it were not for the wonderful mentoring and support I received from dedicated teachers and the advisement from guidance counselors, I probably would not be in the position that I am in today: a professional person who is a life-long learner. Today it is my life experience that helps me know and understand the importance of encouragement and the need to instill confidence in each of my students.
Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:
The advice that I would give a new superintendent is the same message that has been echoed to me by proven system leaders: Make sure you are the right person for the community, but also make sure that the community (district) is the right match for you. At this level, it is not about the pay, the schedule, the office, or the title. It is all about the members of the community.
If I ever snuck out of work early, I would probably be found:
If I ever snuck out early, I would probably be found at home, preferably playing with my one-year-old baby girl, Alexa, and my expectant wife, Suzy. If they’re not home, then probably watching the Yankees game!
People would be surprised to know:
I am still an active baseball player. I play in an adult baseball league. I can still hang with the college kids! Also, I am a true animal lover. My house has become the Bronx Zoo. There are not many animals that I haven’t had as a pet. Some say that I’ll become a veterinarian after I retire from education.
One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS:
It is much more than an organization or a network of well-developed educators. It is a family that looks out for the best interest of its members and supporters. Members of this organization have graciously welcomed me – across the nation. As I have moved in my career, I have met professionals who are pillars in our educational system, many of which have some connection with ALAS. I am humbled that I have been recognized by an organization that has been part of so many experts’ lives.