2015 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
TASC Preparation Instructor
Hempstead Adult and Community Education
Joseph Villani's journey as an educator has been long, intricate and perhaps most importantly, self-motivated. While working as a carpenter for the New York City Department of Sanitation, Mr. Villani attended Brooklyn College at night to earn his bachelor's degree in mathematics. Upon his graduation in 1990, he became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
That same year, Mr. Villani became aware of the low math scores in Hempstead, so he volunteered his time and skill to tutor math in Hempstead and its neighboring communities, Uniondale and Roosevelt. He also offered his services to the New Ground agency, which provides education and case management to formerly homeless families.
In 1996, Mr. Villani put his carpentry skills to work for the New York City Board of Education as a Supervisor of Carpenters. His experiences working in schools, ensuring that the buildings are safe and sound, further fueled his passion for education. The next year, he went to work -- in his spare time -- for Hempstead Adult and Community Education (HACE) as an instructor in their GED program. He now teaches math, science, social studies and language arts in HACE's Test Assessing Secondary Completion program.
"Joseph Villani has a general love for learning," wrote his award nominator. "He is largely self-taught and enjoys imparting his knowledge in both a formal education setting and in his day-to-day life. He tutors, taught Judo in local neighborhood programs, and volunteers most of his free time to help others to better themselves."