2011 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Peter J. Gibbons
Fine and Performing Arts
Island Trees UFSD
Not surprisingly, music has always been Peter J. Gibbons' favorite subject. He started out teaching music in inner-city private schools in New York City. Realizing that kids in struggling communities could also benefit from the arts, he and a friend put together their own music program. Gibbons then spent the next 23 years volunteering his Saturdays to teach these children.
"I have always enjoyed music," said Gibbons. "I feel so fortunate in life to have followed this path. What better job could anyone have than working with young people in the arts?"
Gibbons has served as district director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Island Trees UFSD in Levittown, N.Y., since 2000.
Under his direction, the Island Trees Music Department has been voted one of the "Best Communities in Music Education in America" three times and has been selected as a Grammy Signature School finalist. Gibbons also served as assistant principal in both the Island Trees and Garden City districts and was an instrumental music teacher in band, orchestra and jazz since 1977.
He is an active member of the Music Educators National Conference, New York State School Music Association, Nassau Music Educators Association and Arts Supervisors Association and was president of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education, chairperson of BOCES' Arts in Education Advisory Council and president of the Island Trees Administrators Association.
Gibbons was a recipient of the American Legion Post 1711 Americanism Award, the Island Trees Alumni 9/11 Humanitarian Award and the PTA Life Membership Jenkins Award.
After earning a bachelor's and master's in music education from Brooklyn College and C.W. Post, respectively, Gibbons received a professional diploma in education administration from Dowling College. He has been married for more than 25 years to his wife Adele, also a teacher, with whom he has a son Matthew, a recent graduate of Boston College's Carroll School of Management.