2007 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Dr. Thomas W. Alfano

Thomas W. Alfano

New York State Assembyman
21st District

Thomas Alfano is not simply known as the state assemblyman from the 21st District, but rather as the “Children’s Assemblyman” for his continued efforts to bring the legislative process alive to children. His pioneering youth program — Mentors and Leaders — allows students in public schools to visit the state capitol, free-ofcharge, to learn about the state’s governmental system. To date, more than 6,000 students have participated in this unique program. Alfano also brings Albany to Long Island, holding bill signings in various schools — he appoints “student legislators,” addresses them on the merits of the proposed bills and ceremoniously signs them into law.

It’s safe to say that Assemblyman Alfano’s influence on students reaches far beyond Albany. His museum project brings students to the Cradle of Aviation for a day of learning about science and fun. His commitment to scientific advancement can also be seen in his support of the Science Research Project at Elmont High School, where he has secured funding to purchase lab instruments and equipment as well as to expand the science department. Alfano is also a strident supporter of the arts and humanities, sponsoring foreign language academies, obtaining new instruments and specialized instruction for the music program at Sewanhaka High School, creating a “Summer Reading Challenge” and acquiring the money necessary to automate the three libraries in the Franklin Square school district.

Moreover, the assemblyman doesn’t just secure funding for these programs, he participates in them as well. Alfano can be found marching in Little League parades, playing basketball at pep rallies, attending science fairs, and lunching with students in school cafeterias. Alfano also supports education in less obvious ways, having been awarded citations from the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education of Nassau County for his support of the committee’s Drug and AIDS prevention programs, and from Nassau County Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) for his work with mentally retarded and handicapped children.

A member of the Higher Education Committee, he serves on the “Successful Schools Task Force,” which he brought to Nassau County to study school success at the Elmont Union Free School District.

Born in Brooklyn, Assemblyman Alfano graduated with honors from St. Pius X Prep Seminary and then attended Fordham College, where he was class valedictorian, as well as a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha. Alfano continued his education at Fordham Law School, graduating in 1984. In addition to serving as state assemblyman, Alfano acts as Senior Counsel for Entwistle and Cappucci, LLP. Prior to being elected to the New York State Assembly in 1996, Alfano served as counsel to New York State Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos.