October 25, 2011
Suzanne Viscovich ‘93GEd, ‘01Ed.D., who attended The
School of Education at St. John’s because she “always wanted to
be a teacher,” has received a 2011 Golden Apple Award from the
March of Dimes for her “commitment to education.”
Viscovich, Principal of the Homestead School
in Garden City, NY, is one of only 10 New York-area educators to
receive the award. The March of Dimes
presented the awards at its 15th Annual Golden Apple Awards Dinner
on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Fox Hollow in Woodbury, NY.
“It’s always gratifying when others recognize the commitment you
feel toward your work,” said Dr. Viscovich. “A lot of what the
committee talked about — the kindness, the caring at the Homestead
School — embodies what I experienced at home and at the Catholic
schools I attended.”
Dr. Viscovich attended Our Lady
of Victory Grammar School in Floral Park, NY. She went to high
school at Our Lady of Mercy
Academy in Syosset. In 1991, she received her bachelor’s degree
in the Liberal Arts — minoring in math and French — at Villanova
University. Earning her teacher’s certification at Rosemont
College, PA, she decided to pursue her master’s degrees at St.
“I chose St. John’s,” she said, “because The School of Education
has always had an outstanding reputation in elementary education.”
As a Long Island native, she added, “I was, and remain, a Red Storm
In 1993, Dr. Viscovich earned her master’s degree in elementary
education with a concentration in reading. She taught at St. Anne’s Elementary
School in Garden City, NY, the Garden City Middle
School and the Stratford Elementary
School. As Assistant Principal at Stratford, she created a
character education program based on the school’s existing “4 R’s”
of Respect, Responsibility, Relations and Rights.
Pursuing her doctorate in instructional leadership at St.
John’s, Dr. Viscovich enjoyed support from top professors. For
Mary Ellen Freeley, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education,
helped her choose a dissertation topic.
Richard Sinatra, Ph.D., Professor of Education, was her
dissertation mentor and submitted the dissertation to the College Reading and Learning
Association, where it won the Outstanding Dissertation Award
and was published in the Association’s 2002 yearbook.
As Principal of the Homestead School, Dr. Viscovich greets each
child every day, reads to them during classroom visits and promotes
character-building activities such as service. She pursues these
values outside school as well, helping to raise funds for causes
such as the National Kidney
Foundation, the Arthritis
Foundation, the American
Cancer Society, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and Autism Speaks, among
For Dr. Viscovich, service and mutual respect are vital to every
child’s education. “That’s what Character Education is about,” she
said. “We teach students about having good values, such as
kindness, caring. Those are values I encountered at St.