Finley Middle School Principal Alston Honored

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Congratulations to Robert M. Finley Middle School Principal Anael Alston, who is one of fourteen recipients of the 2011 Nassau BOCES “Education Partner” award. The agency will honor the winners during a special ceremony on Thursday, May 12.

Nassau BOCES created the “Education Partner” program to recognize individuals who have made a significant impact on public education in Nassau County and are committed to providing the best possible education for learners of all ages and abilities. Mr. Alston was nominated for the award based on his work in earning the 2011 MetLife Foundation-National Association of Secondary School Principals Breakthrough School Award, which was granted to only five middle schools in the country. He was also nominated for his efforts to ease the transition for students from elementary school to middle school; for his work with teachers and parents to forge open communications; and for his efforts to develop a rich professional development program at Finley Middle School.

“I am extremely proud to lead a team of such talented educators and move our school toward significant, and even overwhelming academic gains,” said Mr. Alston, who thanked the Glen Cove community for embracing Finley Middle School, which he referred to as a microcosm of America based on the rich diversity of the student population.

Serving as Finley Principal since 2005, Mr. Alston possesses more than 16 years of experience as an administrator and teacher. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, a teaching assistant at Teachers College at Columbia University, and has studied under some of the preeminent names in education including Ronald Ferguson and Howard Gardner at Harvard University and Lucy Calkins at Columbia University. Mr. Alston has presented at statewide conferences and given keynote speeches and lectures on school change and curriculum reform. Currently, he is a part of the Energeia Partnership class of 2010, a two-year leadership academy sponsored by Molloy College dedicated to identifying and addressing serious, complex, and multi-dimensional issues challenging the Long Island, NY region.

An accomplished athlete as well, Mr. Alston is a former Golden Gloves champion who competed and won the Super Heavyweight open class division in 2004 while working as an Assistant Principal. This past November he ran the New York City Marathon to raise money for the Team for Kids Foundation.

“Response to our ‘Education Partner’ awards program continues to be extraordinary,” said Nassau BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Rogers. “Through this innovative program, everyone who has ever been influenced by public education has an opportunity to show appreciation by nominating outstanding candidates for the award.”