2020 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Dr. Christopher Korolczuk
Nassau BOCES Center for Community Adjustment
Dr. Korolczuk began his more than 20 years as an educator in the most challenging classroom imaginable. As a special education teacher at the Ranch San Antonio Juvenile Detention Facility in Los Angeles, CA, then health teacher at Riker’s Island Jail, he laid the foundation for a career devoted to teaching students with unique needs who require support beyond the traditional school setting.
From the correctional system, Dr. Korolczuk moved to New York City Schools before coming to Nassau BOCES Center for Community Adjustment (CCA) as assistant principal. Soon after his appointment to the administration, Dr. Korolczuk took the helm as Principal at CCA and began the task of transforming the school into the thriving learning community it is today.
In addition to improving the academic curriculum and implementing a schoolwide behavior plan, Dr. Korolczuk worked to improve morale and to create a sense of community within CCA. To that end, he launched a monthly award ceremony, recognizing students who are meeting overall expectations while achieving their own personal goals. He has also prioritized family events, such as Pasta Night and the Arts and Music Gala, to promote parental involvement. He embodies the belief that effective leadership is based on strong relationships with all stakeholders.
Dr. Korolczuk also helped develop collaborative relationships between CCA and local colleges. Through a partnership with Farmingdale State College, the center’s students have the opportunity to take college-level courses, learning about the expectations of a college curriculum while in the supportive and therapeutic environment of CCA. A similar partnership with Nassau Community College (NCC) empowers students to attend course at NCC, giving them a firsthand, real-life experience of campus life. These are just two of the many partnerships fostered under Dr. Korolczuk’s leadership, with the support of the Department of Special Education.
Dr. Korolczuk has raised the bar on professional accountability at the center while simultaneously improving staff morale. Through his guidance, CCA has improved dramatically and currently enjoys the highest graduation rates in its history, with students earning both Regents and Advanced Regents diplomas, while also connecting graduates with countless adult service agencies to support their transition to adulthood.
“Under your stewardship, my child blossomed at CCA and was able to put himself on a path toward success,” one parent wrote in an email last year. “He is able to be at peace and comfortable in his own skin, no longer disabled by self-interference.”
Dr. Korolczuk recently completed a five-year tenure as President of the Nassau BOCES Educational Administrators Association, where he represented more than 80 school administrators, working closely with them to improve working conditions and meet educational goals. He was selected by the School Administrators Association of New York State and the Board of Regents to meet with the Commissioner of the State Education Department to discuss the importance of educational reform. He earned his Educational Leadership Doctorate in Education from St. John’s University’s School of Education.
“Christopher Korolczuk is a true leader in every sense,” wrote his award nominator. “He sets expectations high for staff and students alike, and is committed to ensuring a safe, welcoming and caring learning environment. He builds a trusting rapport through his fair, ethical and even-tempered educational approach, using words of praise and encouragement. His impact on public education is nothing short of inspirational.”