2023 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Erik Chocianowski

Erik Chocianowski

Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts

Erik Chocianowski is an industry expert and a true asset to arts education. Before teaching at LIHSA, he was Owner-Operator of his original company Hatandstachery, which designed and created sets and scenery for staged productions. He has served as a scenic carpenter for world-renowned Spaeth Design.

Mr. Chocianowski designed the Scenic Construction and Design curriculum at Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA), through which he shares his industry experience in the basics of set design, drawing, special effects makeup, puppetry, lighting mechanics and design, and 3D modeling techniques. He has engaged his students in the construction of full-sized set pieces for a variety of LIHSA productions and has led them in sharing their skills with the wider school community through a variety of projects, such as collaborating to build theatrical sets.

With the help of LIHSA administration, Mr. Chocianowski was able to partner with the Long Island Children’s Museum to have his students create and perform a puppet show for children in the school community. He and his students learned together how to build puppets and collaborated on the script. This spring, he plans to partner with animal shelters to have his students build cat and doghouses.

Mr. Chocianowski is the epitome of a holistic educator, fostering listening and acceptance in his classroom and engaging his students with patience and thoughtfulness. He provides them with leadership opportunities, paying special attention to those who may have learning challenges or struggles.

He helps students to build on the ways in which they excel in the classroom, while preparing them for future careers in the industry. He works with them to plan beyond graduation, assisting them with securing internships and jobs in their respective fields, as well as with joining the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the quintessential theatre workers union.