Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why age is just a number for NY assistant principal

Age is just a number for Chris Uccellini.

That’s because at the age of just 31, Chris is well on his way to achieving his life-long dream of becoming a school principal. Chris was recently promoted to the position of assistant principal at Stratford Avenue Elementary School in Garden Center, NY.

Chris said while his colleagues often take notice of his age, he’s not surprised by his success.


Some people don’t know what they are going to do professionally even in college. Chris never had that problem. He’s always known he wanted to be an educator, which has given clarity and a sense of purpose to his life.

“I just knew by the fourth-grade that I’d become a teacher,” Chris said. “I love education and teaching children. And, I always knew my goal was to become a principal.”

Chris said it was his education at Post University that helped prepare him for where he is today. He graduated from Post’s Waterbury, Conn. main campus in May 2004 with a degree in history.

After graduating from Post, Chris secured his master’s degree and began teaching in the East Port-South Manor school system for three years. He then received a second master’s degree in educational leadership. Chris then moved to the Copiague, NY school system where he taught for six years prior to his most recent promotion.

In his new job, Chris’ responsibilities are too numerous to list. But he observes staff in the classroom, is a testing coordinator, and handles discipline and staff development. He also ensures the schools are safe, which in light of all the recent school violence outbreaks, is his most important task.

Chris looks back at his time at Post with a great deal of fondness. He was the captain of the Post baseball team.

“I hit a game-winning homerun in a playoff game,” Chris said. “I got to go up for graduation before anyone else because we had a game on graduation. That is a memory I will never forget.”

Besides excelling on the baseball field, Chris did very well in the classroom.
He said the challenging courses and the knowledgeable professors helped him to excel.

“Academically, I did very well because I had that nice personal connection with my professors because of the small class size,” Chris said. “They were able to give me the personalized attention that you don’t always get at a larger university. The professors at Post got to know me on a more personal level.”

Chris said he made numerous life-long friends at Post. Three friends from Post were in his wedding party. “Everyone got along,” Chris said. “We were a big brotherhood at Post.”

Chris said his experience as the captain of the baseball team helped prepare him to be a leader in the classroom.

“I felt it was natural for me to educate and coach students. I’m a coach at a higher level now,” Chris said.

Chris said he has more to do to achieve all his career goals, but he’s not going to put an age on it. For Chris, age is just a number.


What do you think is the most important thing someone needs to achieve success?