Educational leader and American veteran named principal of Nassau BOCES Barry Tech
Peter Dalton, who is taking the helm of Nassau BOCES Barry Tech, brings more than 20 years of diverse and invaluable experience with him to the position. Having served a leadership role in both the New York State educational system and the United States Air Force, he is well equipped to lead Barry Tech to even greater success.
Mr. Dalton comes to Barry Tech on the heels of a six-year tenure as Assistant Principal of Sewanhaka High School. In this role, he served as the head of the district’s career and technical education program. “The model is similar to that of Nassau BOCES,” Mr. Dalton observes. “We had students from five different high schools — five different school cultures — just as Barry Tech serves students from districts throughout Long Island.”
Before that, Mr. Dalton was the founding Principal of the Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VI, a successful Title I school in the New York City school system, where he served for four years. He instituted some of the guiding principles he learned in the Air Force, building them into the framework and structure of the school, taking a military approach to instruction.
In the Air Force, Mr. Dalton served as a search and rescue pilot. He was selected as a member of the Honor Cordon for his Officer Candidate Class, a distinction he earned for his “outstanding demonstration of integrity, resilience and leadership.” Mr. Dalton sees many of the core values of the Air Force embodied in Nassau BOCES, specifically, “integrity and excellence.”
“Barry Tech is a phenomenal school,” Dalton says. “The name leads the way in career and technical education. If I had a Barry Tech available to me as a kid, there’s no question I would have gladly attended to get a jump start on my dream of becoming a pilot.”
In his inaugural year as principal, Mr. Dalton says that he is “excited to learn” and looks forward to discovering each program firsthand, building relationships with teachers, and working with the administrative team on the areas that need the most focus. He plans to establish a clear set of expectations across the board for students, faculty and staff.
“I want to make a significant contribution to what they are doing here,” Mr. Dalton says. “Through education and life experiences, I can take a fresh look at what we’re doing, to help this school to go from great to even better. Ultimately, I hope to improve instruction, build programs, and ensure that Barry Tech remains at the leading edge of career and technical education.”
Within the school, Mr. Dalton plans to focus on instruction. “I’ve heard wonderful things about the teachers,” he says. “There is a sense of professional trust that they share and all of them are experts in their chosen fields. Every teacher has a set of skills. I want to help them to improve those skills and to become even better educators.” In the larger community, he hopes to collaborate with other principals across the county, to draw on their expertise, and to “give them the opportunity to truly understand what it is we do.”
Mr. Dalton believes that “the essence of career and technical education is giving students a skill set to work with in going on to careers or college.” His overarching goal for Barry Tech is to “have our students become even more successful.”
In addition to his many leadership roles, Mr. Dalton has nearly ten years of experience as a classroom teacher. He is a member of the School Administrators Association of New York State, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators. He holds a degree in educational administration from Baruch College, as well as both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University.