Superintendent of the Year

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Superintendent Michael P. Nagler, Ed.D., has been named the 2020 New York State Superintendent of the Year by the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Bestowed at the Winter Institute, the award is part of the American Association of School Administrators’ national award, which was established in 1988. The announcement was made at the Oct. 24 Board of Education meeting.

“To be nominated for and receive this designation is truly an honor,” Dr. Nagler said. “I believe strongly in Mineola’s mission statement to create lifelong learners who contribute positively to a global society, and there is nothing more satisfying to me than being in a classroom and seeing both staff and students fully immersed and engaged in a lesson. This award is really a testament to the work my teachers, staff and administrators do every single day in those classrooms by impacting the lives of our students, and to Mineola’s Board of Education, who have embraced my ideas and sometimes out-of-the-box approaches, to drive this district forward. I am humbled to receive this honor on behalf of Mineola’s everyday heroes.”

After graduating with his doctorate in education from Columbia University, Dr. Nagler began his career in the New York City school system. He quickly advanced to an assistant principal position and joined Mineola, originally, as assistant principal of its middle school in 1999. Dr. Nagler has been with the Mineola School District for 21 of his 33 years in education and served as its high school principal and deputy superintendent before becoming superintendent in 2009.

In his first years, Dr. Nagler was responsible for convincing the community of the need to consolidate and reorganize its school structure to remain fiscally responsible. With that change and savings, the district was able to begin funding transformational technology advancements for all of its students, including being among the first to adopt a 1:1, take-home, iPad initiative that eventually rolled out to all students in grades K-12. Since then, the district has continued to thrive and advance, not just with technology, but with its curriculum offerings, initiatives, professional development and facilities, all while remaining at or below the tax cap for its residents.

Under Dr. Nagler’s leadership, the Mineola School District has continued to soar:

* Mineola is one of the only, and first, districts to have all five of its schools earn the distinction of an Apple Distinguished School.
* All five schools have been recognized as a Common Sense School for Digital Citizenship.
* The district is one of only 114 members nationwide in the League of Innovative Schools.
* In 2018, Mineola was also named one of the Top 25 Most Innovative Districts by the American Association of School Administrators and SPN.
* Mineola High School and Mineola Middle School became the first on Long Island with a Fabrication Lab, commonly referred to as a Fab Lab, where students learn, design, collaborate and build in a small-scale workshop environment.
* Mineola was named among the Top 10 Digital School Districts in 2017-18 by The Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association.
* In the last 3 years, there has been a significant improvement in the achievement of ENL students as evidenced by NYS regents results
* Expansion of the district’s fine arts and music offerings, including a recent win in its division at the New York State Field Band Conference competition.
* Mineola is the first and only district on Long Island to offer full-day pre-K to all of its residents.
* All curriculum has been rewritten for K-7 in the last few years to take a more integrative approach.
* Integration of AKAs (Application of Knowledge Assessments) that require students to illustrate their understanding of a concept in different ways.
* Established a culture of growth mindset districtwide, and of cultivating the 4Cs of creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration into all of its innovative learning environments.
* Capital work continues each year to advance the schools for our students and protect taxpayers’ investment in buildings, all without the need to bond any work. To date, more than $45 million in capital improvement work has been done at no additional expense to our taxpayers.


Dr. Nagler is past president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, a member of the National Council on Digital Convergence, a member of the American Association of School Administrators, and is on the advisory board for Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. He has also received the Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award for 2019 and the New York State Council of School Superintendents Appreciation Award in 2017, and was named one of 2017’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education. Dr. Nagler also most recently gave the keynote address at New York State Council of School Superintendents conferences in September 2019.

As the New York State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Nagler now becomes New York’s candidate for national superintendent of the year, to be awarded at American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education in San Diego in February 2020. Dr. Nagler was nominated for the award by Board of Education President Christine Napolitano and will be honored on March 2 at the State Conference in Albany.