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Nassau BOCES appoints new Associate Director of Special Education

Happy woman smiling
Joanna Malament

Joanna Malament, an educational leader and mentor with nearly 15 years of experience, has been promoted to Associate Director of the Nassau BOCES Department of Special Education. A dedicated and compassionate student advocate, Ms. Malament has a proven track record in directing major educational initiatives, specializing in strategic inquiry, as well as school improvement, transformation and development.

Ms. Malament has been serving as a leader at Nassau BOCES for six years. She came to the agency in 2018, serving as Principal of the Robert Williams School (RW) for students with learning, behavioral, emotional, and developmental challenges. After just three short years at the helm of RW, she was recruited to serve as Assistant Director of Special Education. Ms. Malament is the liaison for the other departments of Nassau BOCES, including Business Services, Communications, Facilities, Health and Safety, Transportation, and Security. In her role she supported the department to increase enrollment, create new programs and open new location sites. It is on the heels of her success in this vital role that she has been promoted to Associate Director.

Ms. Malament has served on a number of Nassau BOCES committees, including the Policy Committee, Health and Safety, Security, Strategic Planning, the Ed Space Committee and the Reopening Committee. She also serves on the Shared Decision Team, the Professional Learning Plan Committee, the Annual Professional Performance Review Committee, and as Co-Chair of both the Aspiring Leaders Network and the George Farber Awards Committee.

According to Ms. Malament, “Having a well-founded standard of excellence is paramount to the success of any educational organization. Nassau BOCES understands and addresses the unique needs of the students, districts and communities it serves. The agency is committed to delivering high-quality education and services that contribute to the overall success of Long Island schools.”

Ms. Malament began her educational career in the New York City Department of Education, as a special education teacher at John Adams High School (JAHS) in Queens. Her success in creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment for her students resulted in her quick rise through the ranks at JAHS. She was immediately promoted to the role of director and instructional leader, and shortly thereafter was appointed to the role of Assistant Principal. At the same time, she became the administrator and site supervisor of the JAHS summer school program, before coming to Nassau BOCES.

As lead instructor of the Hunter College master’s program in educational leadership, Ms. Malament helps aspiring educators gain the skills and knowledge they need to become change agents and influencers in their school communities. With a focus on school improvement and strategic inquiry, she prepares her students to become school building and school district leaders throughout New York State.

Ms. Malament was selected to serve with the Assistant Commissioner of Special Education on the New York State Network Committee to help determine pivotal state education policies and initiatives. She plays a vital role on the New York Council of Administrators of Special Education in planning its Summer Institute on Professional Learning for School Leaders. She presented the Virtual Professional Learning for Administrators workshop at the Long Island Technology and Education Summit. She earned several noteworthy educational grants, including the iLearn Grant to provide “1,000 iPads In the Classroom,” the Financial Literacy Grant, and the D27 21st Century Grant for improvement to New York City Schools.

“I’m excited to embark on this new path,” Ms. Malament says of her role as Associate Director. “I’m passionate about providing mentorship to new school leaders, and committed to ensuring that the future of special education is one of equity, diversity and inclusion, where all students have their needs met efficiently and effectively, and everyone has the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.”

Ms. Malament holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Baruch College, a master’s in special education from Touro College, and a bachelor’s degree in childhood education from the State University of New York at Old Westbury. She holds two advanced certificates in educational leadership from New York State, as well as professional certification in special education, childhood education, and applied behavior analysis.