2017 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Principal, Willet Avenue Middle School
Willet Avenue Middle School Principal Robert Lombardi is a collaborative leader who regularly encourages input from teachers, inviting faculty and staff to share their thoughts and ideas on school policy. He works to create a positive school environment that promotes learning, while supporting the physical, social and emotional well being of the student body. He is a proactive educator who has launched vital initiatives at Willet Avenue.
Mr. Lombardi introduced the Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) program, designed to help students develop appropriate social and emotional behaviors through concrete lessons and integrated activities. The school-wide program encourages students to interact with teachers and peers and to build upon critical thought processes to foster independence.
Mr. Lombardi is a key contributor to the Intensive Support Program (ISP), which provides licensed clinical social workers and psychiatrists who deliver individual, group and family counseling services. He developed the Transitional Support Program (TSP) to assist those ISP students who have demonstrated significant emotional growth to move to a less restrictive setting. TSP offers ISP students additional support as they make his crucial transition.
Mr. Lombardi also helped to develop school clubs and activities that encourage student involvement, including the student-run EATS Café, the Willet Soup Shop, the school-wide recycling program, the Willet Avenue Victory Garden, Beautiful You (nurturing student selfworth) and the Gay Straight Alliance Club.
The New York State Education Department, in conjunction with Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, honored Mr. Lombardi with the PBIS Sustainability Award. He was named Person of the Year by the Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators and is a lifetime member of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers. He is also an adjunct professor at Hofstra since 1998 in the department of Specialized Programs in Education — Special Education cluster.
“Robert Lombardi is a unique administrator who truly cares for his students and staff,” wrote his award nominator. “He transcends day-to-day expectations to create an exceptional educational environment at Willet Avenue. We owe our success to his ability to manage, his respect for learning, his dedication to our school and to his vision for the future of education.”