Ed Casswell is both the successful Principal of Center Moriches High School and the stalwart President of the Suffolk County Principal’s Association. In recognition of his significant contributions to public education, Ed was nominated for the ESSAA Administrator of the Year Award by Dan Holtzman, Principal of Shoreham-Wading River High School for both his long-term success as a high school principal, and for his outstanding volunteer work as President of the Suffolk County High School Principals Association. Ed was recognized and honored at the annual state-wide ESSAA Executive Board Meeting held on June 3rd at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY.
The SCHSPA is a robust and active professional organization on Long Island dedicated to the continual enhancement of the instructional leadership that high school Principals provide for their students, staff and community members. As president, Ed has led the SCHSPA with unwavering passion, professionalism and expertise in guiding the organization to provide meaningful professional development opportunities, a strong collegial network among its members, and development of a collective educational vision that provides students with rigorous, relevant and rewarding educational opportunities. Ed’s vision, ethics, values and commitment have made the SCHSPA what it is today. Under his leadership, the SCHSPA has grown exponentially from a small group of administrators meeting informally at a hot-dog truck to over 60 members, regular general meetings per year, the creation of an executive board that meets bi-monthly, and provider of much-needed mentoring for new principals.
One of the association’s greatest achievements with Ed at the helm has been the creation of the corporate sponsorships and partnerships secured over the past eight years. All State Insurance, Teachers Federal Credit Union, Herf-Jones, SAT Method-Prep, Long Island Honor Flight and LandTech are just a few of the sponsors who have enthusiastically supported the association over the years by funding scholarships to students who are recognized by their principals as leaders in their respective high schools. In doing so, the sponsors’ corporate support has provided the SCHSPA with the ability to provide over $100,000 in scholarship monies to graduating seniors at their annual Leadership Luncheon for the award recipients, their parents, school principal, and superintendent.
When considering a means to bring all Suffolk County high schools together to work collaboratively with one another, “Compassion without Borders,” another tremendous achievement, was born. When he and a fellow principal brought their ideas to the association, there was a positive buzz that took the room. Under his mantra, “When students come together, great things happen” the first “Compassion without Borders” focused on helping one student by raising over $50,000 to make his home handicapped accessible. From that success, Ed targeted the association’s efforts on a grander scale in multiple schools. From there, “Compassion without Borders” blossomed into a yearly student leadership conference with a different high school hosting the conference each year and targeting a specific theme, such as tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, and empathy. The day’s activities and workshop sessions are planned and conducted by the student leaders from the host school. The goal is to have the student ambassadors who attend, take this newly acquired knowledge and excitement back to their respective schools to create positive change. The SCHSPA is currently planning the 8th Annual “Compassion without Borders” event that will host a student conference day for over 600 students from all over the state.
Beyond his influence among his colleagues to promote compelling opportunities for students, Ed’s commitment to public education has been truly inspiring and commendable. Ed has also been a driving force behind the association’s involvement in APPR and Common Core revisions on the state and local level. Through meetings, networking, and dialogue with the State Education Department and locally elected state officials, he has respectfully demanded that our voice is heard and that we have a seat at the table. One of Ed’s finest attributes is his infectious spirit and his passion to not only do what’s right as individuals, leaders and as an organization but more importantly to do what is right for our students. He is a consummate professional, a leader by definition and more importantly, through example. Throughout his teaching and administrative career, he has been an outstanding public servant, school leader, and mentor to many of his colleagues. Ed inspires those around him to work tirelessly, with focus; never losing sight of the importance of our students, their future and the future of public schools.