Tony Sinanis, the principal at Cantiague Elementary School in the Jericho school district, was named New York's top elementary principal for 2014 Thursday by a state school administrators' group and a national principals' association.
Sinanis, 40, who is considered by colleagues to be a leader in the use of social media for educational purposes, "has expanded the traditional role of the principal," said Jericho Superintendent of Schools Henry Grishman.
The Queens resident "is viewed as a master teacher spending the majority of his time in the classrooms interacting with both the teachers and students," Grishman said.
The New York State Elementary Principal of the Year award is given annually to a member of both organizations by the School Administrators Association of New York State and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Nominees are recognized for showing a commitment to students, parents, and the community as well as providing exceptional contributions to the educational process, according to the state organization.
Sinanis said Thursday that he was honored by the award and said he considers his position "the best job ever" where he is constantly surrounded by others who are inspired, enthusiastic and happy.
"I work very hard to give our students a voice in our experience here," Sinanis said. "They are so excited to be here and about learning. It's inspiring."
Sinanis is currently in his sixth year as the principal of the Jericho elementary school. Before that he worked as a principal in the Valley Stream school district and as a teacher in both the Hewlett-Woodmere school district and the New York City public schools.
He is also enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is studying the relationship between active participation on Twitter and the professional development of principals.
Sinanis' colleagues have described him as a maverick in using social media. He is active on Twitter and serves as the founder and co-moderator of other social media outlets..
In 2013, he received the national Bammy Award for Elementary School Principal of the Year.
Sinanis will be honored for his accomplishments at an awards ceremony May 9 at the Century House in Latham. As New York's Elementary School Principal of the Year, Sinanis will be celebrated as a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals this fall in Washington, D.C.