Adelphi’s educational leadership development program is ideal for a teacher who aspires to a position of leadership or for a building leader who wants to work in central office administration.

by Cecil Harris

“In Adelphi’s program, I learned how to manage a school.”––Melissa Fischetto, M.A. ’08, M.A. ’14

Melissa Fischetto, M.A. ’08, M.A. ’14, was so impressed with the faculty and curriculum at Adelphi University while earning a master’s degree in early childhood education that, when she decided to transition from teacher to school leader, she returned for a second master’s degree in Adelphi’s educational leadership program.

“As I went through Adelphi’s program, I found myself growing and evolving as a leader,” said Ms. Fischetto, the educational director at A to Z Center Too, a privately run preschool in Queens Village, New York. (Another A to Z Center is in Richmond Hills, New York.)

“I had been teaching prekindergarten since 2008. Although I enjoyed being in the classroom, I felt ready to move into a leadership position. Adelphi’s program brought out my leadership qualities and made me want to be a change agent.”

“Melissa also brought out the best in our faculty,” said Patricia Marcellino, Ed.D., interim associate dean of academic affairs, who directed the program when Ms. Fischetto enrolled and taught her in three courses. “Melissa energized and challenged me with her questions and desire to learn.”

Adelphi’s educational leadership program is ideal for a teacher who aspires to a position of leadership or for a building leader who wants to work in central office administration.

Ms. Fischetto works with teachers, students and parents at A to Z Center Too, which serves 200 children with classes for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds, pre-K and an afterschool program for kindergarteners through eighth-graders.

“Melissa exemplifies the qualities of strong leadership by providing vision for her school and energy to implement goals,” said Susan Eichenholtz, Ed.D., associate professor in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education and interim director of the educational leadership program. “She is a model for the type of individual who should be in the educational administration profession.”

After A to Z Center Too received approval from the New York City Department of Education to expand its pre-K program from 20 full-day students to 74 students and to add another 36 half-day students, Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured with Ms. Fischetto)—who had made universal pre-K the hallmark of his 2013 campaign—visited the school on May 30, 2014.

“The mayor stayed almost two hours, visiting classrooms and interacting with the children,” Ms. Fischetto said. “You could tell he believes strongly in universal pre-K.”

Ms. Fischetto, a native of North Merrick, New York, is just as passionate about early childhood education. She received Adelphi’s Dean’s Award in May 2014 upon completing the educational leadership program in a year and a half while working full time. She said Adelphi’s small class sizes, experienced faculty and comprehensive curriculum, which includes courses in Law, Ethics and Technology and in School-Based Finance, prepared her well.

“In Adelphi’s program, I learned how to manage a school,” she said.

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