There’s a new trio of administrators at Division Avenue High School this fall. The Levittown School District has appointed John Coscia as principal and Sam McElroy and Terence Rusch as assistant principals of the high school. While Coscia and Rusch will be donning their Blue Dragons gear again, McElroy is new to the district and is looking forward to the sense of community involvement that exists with pride throughout Levittown.
“I’m definitely looking to bring some energy and a new way to look at instruction in the building as a way to relate to students,” said John Coscia, a Bellmore resident who formerly served as assistant principal at Division Avenue High School during the 2013-14 school year and will take over from Joan Lorelli. “We’re a younger administration and we feel we are more adept at understanding how technology can benefit classroom instruction, so we’d like to continue to implement that.”
As a principal, Coscia, who holds a bachelor’s degree in history education and a master’s degree in political science from LIU Post and advanced certification in school building leadership and school district leadership from The College of St. Rose Center for Integrated Teacher Education, said he would like to focus on having decision making become a more inclusive process among the community. He also credits Lorelli as an instrumental player in molding him for the role.
“She took me under her wing for three years and showed me the ropes of the building. Everything from learning the community to understanding the different personalities and history of the district,” he said, also crediting Superintendent Dr. Tonie McDonald as an invaluable resource. “I know I can rely on her; she has always been very supportive. She is always ready to help and is a progressive leader.”
Like many in the community, Coscia enjoys the tight knit aspect of Levittown, including the PTSA organization that works together to support kids. He is looking forward to the new year and is ready to tackle this new adventure with his new administration.
“I’m ready for some action, ready for the halls and classroom to be vibrant with learning. That’s why were in the business,” he said.
One of two assistant principals, Terence Rusch was also newly appointed this year. He formerly held the position of special education chairperson at the high school since 2014 and replaces Coscia. Rusch holds his bachelor’s degree in English literature and composition from Fairfield University, a master’s degree in childhood education and teaching students with disabilities from St. John’s University, and advanced certification in educational leadership and administration from Queen’s College.
“I feel that my background in special education can bring the successful behaviors and strategies that our department has used and bring that to more teachers and classes,” he said. “We would like to continue building communication with parents and students.”
Rusch said that Coscia was very instrumental during his first years as an administrator and he is fortunate enough to continue to work with his colleague.
“A lot of my position I’m learning with John and working with Sam, setting the tone for the building,” said Rusch. “We have an incredibly important administration and a veteran faculty. Everyone has been welcoming since day one and I’m looking forward to working with them in the same capacity.”
Rusch also agreed that Levittown is a hardworking town that cares about its children and the betterment of the community as a whole.
Rounding out the trio is assistant principal Sam McElroy, who is a newcomer to the district and a former assistant principal of instructional support services at Flushing High School in Queens. McElroy also served as athletic director and coordinator of instructional technology and iLearn NYC program.
“Being new and coming from a very different district, I hope to bring a fresh perspective. I hope to take what I’ve learned and was deeply involved with in my last school and do that same kind of involvement here,” he said.
McElroy holds his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Towson University, as well as a master’s degree in special education and advanced certification in school leadership from CUNY Queens College. Although his experience with people in Levittown is relatively short, he looks forward to the opportunity to work with Coscia and learn from his judgment.
“Everyone has been extremely supportive and helpful. I’ve met a lot of the faculty and I’m excited to work with the staff,” said McElroy, who also echoed his sentiments on community as a whole. “Levittown is exceptionally welcoming. When I was looking for an open position, that’s one of the things that attracted me to Levittown was the community and how involved everyone is. I couldn’t be more thankful of the position I’m in right now.”
While McElroy is looking forward to simply getting to know the kids and what the school is like, he is also very excited about the school’s plethora of events and activities.
“I’m excited for the Challenger basketball game and I’ve heard amazing things about the school play,” he said.
As the community warmly welcomes the Three Musketeers of Division Avenue, it is safe to say that with this trio at the helm, students and faculty are in for a fun and successful school year.