2022 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Assistant Director, Nassau BOCES Special Education Department
When Barbara Longo embarked on a rich and successful career as an educator more than 30 years ago, it was not her first profession. While earning her associate's degree at Nassau Community College and contemplating her job prospects, she realized that education was not her only option; nursing and business were also on the table. For a time she devoted herself to becoming a success in the corporate world, but when she volunteered at the Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy School (RKS) a program for the developmentally disabled, she realized she had found her true calling.
Ms. Longo went on to Adelphi University to earn her degree in education and began teaching in Western Suffolk schools. She then returned to Nassau BOCES to teach at RKS full time, and was soon appointed to the role of summer program coordinator, inevitably advancing to assistant principal of the program. From there, she was appointed assistant principal of the agency’s Jerusalem Avenue Elementary School, which serves students with learning, behavioral and developmental issues.
Local school districts soon recognized Ms. Longo’s abilities as an educational leader, and she was enlisted to serve as an administrator for two different school districts. Throughout her tenure as an educator, she has fostered a learning environment that is student-centered, motivating, supportive and inclusive of the entire learning community.
Ms. Longo inevitably returned to Nassau BOCES, this time as supervisor of the Department of Special Education, and then as assistant director. Under her guidance and leadership, a number of innovative programs were developed to meet the diverse needs of students throughout Nassau County. She has effected growth and change, leading to student achievement, sustainability, and post-secondary outcomes. Her work ethic, her motivational character and her support skills have combined to make her a touchstone in navigating some of the biggest challenges to face Long Island schools.