I am honored to re-introduce myself to the Hillside Elementary Community! The past 14 years in education have ingrained in me the precious time we have with our children at this stage of their lives. My wife and I currently see and feel this with our three daughters. I developed as an educator with this in mind and it made every day deeply purposeful and personal.
To prepare for the Assistant Principal role, my journey began with a BA in English from SUNY New Paltz. I received my MS in Childhood Education from Adelphi University and my MS in School Building Leadership from CUNY City College of New York. I spent my student teaching and entire professional career at my previous school, PS 41, Greenwich Village Elementary School in Manhattan. The 41 community was committed to seeing students reach their fullest potential--a clear trait I see in Hillside when speaking with teachers, staff, parents, and educators. The home-to-school connection is critical to supporting student growth.
In my practice as an educator, I wove the three Hillside values--Respect, Courage, Curiosity--into my classrooms. I have had a wide range of teaching experiences including physical education Pre-K-5th grade, and Grades 2-4 in the ICT and General Education settings. I have fostered respect for each other’s strengths and challenges, celebrated courage to take risks, and regularly adjusted the environment and my practice to pique student curiosity. In addition, I embraced many teacher leadership roles throughout my career: grade leader, Union representative, ICT Liaison, School Leadership Team, Equity Committee, and Affinity Group Facilitator, to name a few. I was the Assistant Principal for one year--the year COVID shut us all down-- while my then AP was on leave, where I learned even greater flexibility and had the opportunity to interact with a more diverse range of stakeholders. I was honored to have been nominated for a Big Apple Award. PS 41 was recently recognized as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.
I look forward to immersing myself deeper into the Hillside and Hastings community. My enthusiasm for elementary education will be seen in the halls and classrooms, at recess playing with the students, performances, celebrations, and events across the school year. I have been fortunate to have had school leaders that valued and supported the good work being delivered every day in classrooms. It is what I have come to expect from leadership, what I have seen in Mrs. Cazes, and what I will bring to this role to Hillside.
Mr. Michael LaRocco
Assistant PrincipalLaRoccoM@hohschools.orgHillside Elementary School120 Lefurgy AvenueHastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706