May 07, 2012
Great teachers have the rare ability to touch lives and impact the
future. Six of these inspiring educators were honored at St. John’s
University’s Fourth Annual Leaders in Education Awards Dinner
(L.E.A.D.) at the Oakdale campus, celebrating their outstanding
Peter R. Daly ’08Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent, Babylon Union Free School District
Michael C. DeMartino, Jr. ’69Ed,
Principal, New Hyde Park Memorial High School
Thomas J. Fasano ’89C, ’90G,
Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction,
Massapequa Public Schools
James. J. McCaffrey
Former Principal, Half Hollow Hills High School East
Donald Murphy ’06GEd, ’10Ed.D.
Director of Technology, Wantagh Union Free School District
Laquita Outlaw ’04Ed.D.
Principal, Bay Shore Middle School
Linda Faucetta ’75Ed, Administrative Director of The School of
Education, Graduate Division, welcomed the guests and commented on
the diverse age groups represented by this year’s honorees.
take pride in honoring the best and the brightest educators on Long
Island, and this is quite an intergenerational group of honorees,”
she explained. “What exactly does that mean? Simply that good
leadership starts at a young age and only gets better.”
Jerrold Ross, Ph.D., Dean of St. John’s The School of Education,
echoed those words while providing his own signature humor.
“I am here to testify to what ‘intergenerational’ really means,” he
joked. “Kidding aside, our honorees are individuals who know how to
run a classroom – who even know how to run an entire school
district. Simply put, all of them have had a tremendous impact on
the field of Education here on Long Island.”
Each of the honorees forged a unique path as they pursued their
careers in teaching, and they discussed what first got them
interested in the profession.
wanted to ensure that children would have an opportunity to explore
everything that the world had to offer,” said Laquita Outlaw
’04Ed.D. “Over time, I found that the only way to do that is
through Education and helping them in the classroom.”
For James J. McCaffrey, the teaching bug bit him in high
“My football coach was a great man – a paratrooper in World War II
and an inspirational figure,” McCaffrey recalled. “He was also an
absolutely great teacher who brought out a special feeling in me.
He made me realize that teaching is what I wanted to do, and now
I’ve had the privilege of working with so many great teachers
throughout my career. Events like this are truly wonderful because
it allows us to acknowledge the hard work that they put in each
Donald Murphy '06GEd, '10Ed.D didn’t realize his passion for
Education until his 30s, when he began teaching Kaplan classes at
night. He found the experience tremendously rewarding and hasn’t
looked back since.
“Once I had a taste of it, I knew that I had found my
passion,” he explained. “In my short career, I’ve found that
there’s no way to quantify the impact that teachers have on
children – it’s truly immeasurable. So I’m glad to have a night
like this, to be amongst so many distinguished educators and
celebrate the great things that go on in Education.”
Many of the honorees spoke about their strong attachment to St.
John’s and explained why alumni stay so connected to the
“There’s a strong sense of networking in the field of Education,”
said Thomas J. Fasano '89C, '90G, '07Ed.D. “Everyone knows everyone
else. But to have that extra connection of being St. John’s alumni
is very helpful. It’s a service-oriented culture here, and I think
that helps students stay close as they transition into being
Peter R. Daly '08Ed.D. attributes his strong connection to St.
John’s to the family atmosphere and the University’s ability to
make its graduates feel welcome.
“A lot of colleges talk about family and having a sense of family,
but St. John’s is family,” he noted. “That’s precisely why I
decided to get my degree from here – that strong sense of family.
And what we’re doing here tonight is a great testament to