Mineola Schools Superintendent Michael P. Nagler has been chosen the 2020 New York State Superintendent of the Year, district officials said Friday.
Nagler joined Mineola in 1999 as assistant principal of its middle school, and served as its high school principal and deputy superintendent before becoming superintendent in 2009.
"This award is really a testament to the work my teachers, staff and administrators do every single day in those classrooms by impacting the lives of our students, and to Mineola’s Board of Education, who have embraced my ideas and sometimes out-of-the-box approaches, to drive this district forward," he said.
Under his leadership, Mineola undertook several technological advancements, including being among the first to equip each student with an iPad for school work. The district was recognized by Apple for its use of technology. In addition, the district — which enrolls about 2,800 students — has revised its curriculum offerings and was the first on Long Island to offer full-day prekindergarten.
Nagler, 54, was nominated for the New York State Council of School Superintendents award by Mineola Board of Education president Christine Napolitano and will be honored March 2 at the state conference in Albany.
"He understands with great conviction and obligation that his job, as superintendent, is to give each child as many opportunities as possible to learn, grow, flourish and contribute," she said.
Nagler becomes New York’s candidate for national superintendent of the year, to be awarded at the American Association of School Administrators’ national conference on education in San Diego in February.
Judging criteria for that honor includes looking at the applicant's leadership and communication skills, as well as professionalism and community involvement.
Brighton Superintendent Kevin McGowan said Nagler "has worked exceptionally hard to be an innovative leader, always focused on making hard decisions the right way in order to improve performance and outcomes in his district."
Nagler, who earned his doctorate in education from Columbia University, has been in education for 33 years. He began his career in the New York City school system.
Nagler is past president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, a member of the National Council on Digital Convergence and a member of the American Association of School Administrators. He is on the advisory board for Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools.
Last year's top superintendent was Jason A. Andrews of the upstate Windsor school district. Jericho's Henry L. Grishman took the top honor in 2012.