Bellmore Schools Superintendent Joe “Dr. Joe” Famularo has been chosen as the 2024 New York state superintendent of the year, district officials and a statewide school leadership group announced Monday.
Famularo, 60, was named to the top honor Monday by the Albany-based New York State Council of School Superintendents. As New York’s superintendent of the year, Famularo will represent New York as its nominee for the national superintendent of the year, awarded by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in San Diego in February.
“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,” said the state superintendents’ group President Jason Andrews, who is superintendent of Windsor Central School District.
Famularo has been with the Bellmore district for 32 years, serving as superintendent for the past 16. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership and possesses seven New York state certifications. 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.
“Affectionately known as 'Dr. Joe' among our staff, he has always been recognized as a multifaceted educator, musician, presenter, and author,” said Bellmore Board of Education President Maryanne Kelly. “Driven by his collaborative approach, he places children at the heart of our collective focus.”
Under his leadership, the district was the first in the state and the second globally to be recognized as a Lighthouse District for Leadership by FranklinCovey Education, a provider of educational-leadership programs and transformational processes.
"Our district's mission is to foster an environment where everyone actively 'Leads and Learns.' " Famularo said. “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.' ”
Famularo has previously served as president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, which nominated him for the state honor. He’s also an accomplished musician who has collaborated with Bellmore's music educators. He annually performs alongside Bellmore's teachers with their school band known as "The Belltones."
He has composed several songs for students, including a composition titled "Be Strong and Lead Together," dedicated to the Class of 2020 students who graduated during the pandemic.
Mineola’s Michael S. Nagler took the top honor in 2020.
According to the council, superintendents are selected based on their skills in leadership, communication, professionalism and community involvement.