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Massapequa’s Innovative Curriculum Leader to Retire
During a 34-year career in education, Dr. Thomas Fasano has been able to impact students of all ages and with all different interests. He spent 18 of those years in Massapequa and is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 school year.
Dr. Fasano, the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, got his start as a high school social studies teacher in the 1980s. He came to Massapequa in 1995 for his first administrative position, as Dean of Students at the High School. After three years, he moved on to Kings Park High School as Assistant Principal and two years later as Principal.
Even though his first time in Massapequa was short, it made an impact, and that’s why he returned in 2008 as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Resources. Two years later, he took leadership of the Curriculum and Instruction department and has been there ever since, helping to oversee numerous academic enhancements in the district.
“The best part of my job has been working closely with building principals, department supervisors, teachers and, most importantly, the students,” Dr. Fasano said. “It’s always been important to me that aspects of this role involve a direct connection with students.”
Dr. Fasano facilitates the Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council, which brings together leaders from grades 9-12 to give a voice to the student body. For more than a decade, the group has led social media safety presentations at the elementary schools.
“Every year, social media evolves and the student leaders see the value of those presentations to students and to parents,” he said.
Academic offerings have grown tremendously under Dr. Fasano’s leadership. He cited the addition of Advanced Placement Capstone at the High School, a two-part, research-based program. Since its inception, hundreds of Massapequa High School graduates have received the AP Capstone Diploma. Dr. Fasano said the program began thanks to collaboration with Dr. Brian Trapani, the curriculum associate for social studies, Paul Weber, the executive assistant for guidance, and Kevin Harrington, the former curriculum associate for English language arts.
The district’s partnership with Hofstra University to create the Methods of Engineering Course is another source of pride for Dr. Fasano. He commends the dedication and energy of co-teachers Jim DeSantis and Nancy Porcellini.
“People say I say this all the time and I do, ‘It’s all about the teacher,’” he said. “When you have an enthusiastic and caring teacher, courses thrive.”
Other curriculum highlights include the addition of the Mindfulness Matters course at the high school, spearheaded by teacher Lisa Davi and Curriculum Association for ELA Tina Farrell, as well as the annual science research symposium.
Every December, Dr. Fasano makes a curriculum presentation to the Board of Education to highlight proposed additions to the secondary Course Content Catalog. He said that all curriculum enhancements are aligned with Board goals and reflective of the changing needs of students and society.
“It’s been all about expanding opportunities and making our courses relevant and rigorous,” he said. That’s a collaborative effort with our department administrators.”
Superintendent Dr. William Brennan described Dr. Fasano as an outstanding and pragmatic educator who is kind, courteous, genuine and humble.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had a chance to work with Tom this past year,” Dr. Brennan said. “I have learned so much from him and admire his personal and professional qualities. Not only is he incredibly bright and hard-working, but I can tell you without reservation that Tom is an exceptional human being. He cares deeply for others.”
Dr. Fasano is an accomplished musician and has regularly appeared on the piano in the annual Faculty Recital during Music in Our Schools Month in March. It’s been his pleasure, he said, to share the stage with Massapequa’s talented music teachers.
“It’s been a great ride,” he said of his tenure in Massapequa and as an educator. “I’m just thankful to the district for the opportunity to work with so many great teachers, administrators and staff.”