2007 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Dr. Mary Ellen Freeley
Superintendent, Malverne Union Free School District
One can easily attribute Dr. Mary Ellen Freeley’s commitment to public education to her parents’ insistence of a “strong educational foundation.” It’s evident their advice took root the day she set foot into St. Brigid’s Elementary School in Ridgewood, Queens. She continued to ‘grow’ academically during her years at Catherine McAuley High School in Brooklyn. Dr. Freeley later received her bachelor’s and master’s of arts degrees from St. Joseph’s College and Queens College, respectively. She obtained her Ed.D. in Administrative and Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University and an honorary doctor of law degree from St. Joseph’s College.
The motto of St. Joseph’s College is esse non videre, or, “to be not to seem.” For Dr. Freeley, this saying has had a major influence on her life and in her professional career. “I’ve enjoyed each position that I’ve held and tried to be all that I could be as I served children, parents and communities,” she says.
The pinnacle of Dr. Freeley’s career has been her election to the presidency of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), with serves 179,000 members in 135 countries. In this capacity, she’s worked with exceptional educators and visited schools and ministries of education across the United States as well as China, Singapore, India, New Zealand and St. Marten. Of this experience, Dr. Freeley says, “I was able to understand the critical nature of work in a global context.”
Prior to her current position as the superintendent of the Malverne Union Free School District, Dr. Freeley has served as the superintendent of the Carle Place Union Free School District and the Glen Cove City School District. She was also an elementary school principal. A few of her professional affiliations include past president and board member of the New York State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NYSASCD), past president of Nassau County Council of School Superintendents (NCCSS) and board of trustee member at St. Joseph’s College and The Mary Louis Academy. Dr. Freeley has authored more than 20 articles and books about learning styles, and has conducted hundreds of workshops on the topic.
Dr. Freeley asserts her long-standing involvement in professional organizations, combined with her service on numerous not-for-profit boards, have provided her with rich personal and professional growth opportunities. “I am most appreciative to my colleagues for nurturing and supporting me in each of these arenas,” she says.