October is National Principal’s Month, and we’re introducing you to each of our building principals with a short Q&A. Anthony DeFazio leads the Rensselaer Educational Center in Troy.
Tell us about your “road to becoming a principal” – how did you end up in this role?
My decision to become a principal occurred while I was a Business Teacher at Scotia-Glenville High School. I attended the MCLA Educational Leadership Academy and completed my internship experience at Scotia Glenville. I worked with a solid administrative team at the high school and received plenty of inspiration from those initial experiences.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love what I do as a CTE Principal and so there are many favorite parts to my job. Each month I can talk at length about the great things that staff and students are doing at the school. But I would say my top two favorite parts of the job are working with a staff dedicated to improve the lives of the students we serve and of course we would not exist without the students, so I’ll tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than watching the students apply their newly acquired practical skill in a given context. Both are very gratifying.
How do you know that you are making an impact on your students?
There are many ways to see that I’m making an impact on students. On a daily basis, I am constantly interacting with students, I greet my students as they enter the building, in their class or lab and when they leave. I have many opportunities to see students doing great things in all those interactions. Sometimes, I see the impact on my students when they come back to visit or when I see them out in the community. There are times when I hear about the impact from parents who are talking about their child’s success or are sending their next child to the CTE center.
What is one surprising thing about your job that most people wouldn’t expect?
As a CTE Principal there are many different facets to the job. The most surprising and utterly unique thing about my job is how often I interact with the ten districts that send students to the CTE center. On any given day I could be in contact with any number of administrative and support staff at the districts I serve.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I have plenty of outside interests and for brevity’s sake I’ll keep it short. The people I work with know that I love to cook. I grew up in a working Italian kitchen and deli and learned to cook by watching both my parents. So one of my favorite things to do is create the menu and then cook all the food for a family gathering. But what people might not know is how much I enjoy the outdoors and how much I like to bike, hike, run and cross country ski with my wife.