The unwavering commitment toward consistency paid off for newly-minted Blue Ribbon school P.S. 159.
The Bayside school was honored for being a high performing school on September 15. According to David Thomas, spokesperson for the United States Department of Education, the school received the award for consistently performing at high levels on New York State assessments in both reading and mathematics. The school’s most recent assessment test scores place it amongst the highest in the nation.
In fact, the school has received an “A” on every state exam for the last four years.
“I’ve been here for 15 years. For a school to do well, perform well, have high performing students for any length of time is a great feat,” said Assistant Principal Andrew Pecorella.
The award couldn’t have come at a better time for Principal Paul DiDio, who took over the post only two months ago. DiDio said former principal Marlene Zucker — who retired after 20 years — deserves due credit.
“If you don’t have a good leader, you don’t have a good school,” he said. “She set the bar high, but I’m very happy to have landed in this school. It’s been a really great ride so far.”
DiDio and Pecorella said the award could not have been achieved without the joint efforts between good teachers, an active parent population, students and the community.
“We take a very holistic approach. You don’t win an award like this without a joint effort,” Pecorella said. “We view this school as a family. We’re all working together toward the same goals — improving students’ academic performance and making sure they grow emotionally and socially.”
And more hard work is still to come.
“My goal as a first year principal is to continue the success of the school. I hope to have another ‘A’ at the end of the year, keep with what’s been positive here and keep leading the school down the right path,” DiDio said. “We just need to continue our success and build upon it.”