SJC Long Island alumna Diane Fox, an assistant principal at Hampton Bays Middle School, was named the 2022 New York State Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year.
Given by the School Administrators Association of New York State and National Association of Secondary School Principals, the annual award recognizes a middle and high school principal who has made a vast impact on their school through their dedicated commitment to education.
“I feel extremely proud of this recognition, because it represents many of the accomplishments of my fellow educators in Hampton Bays,” said Fox, who graduated from SJC Long Island in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and History with a concentration in Adolescence Education.
“The initiatives, programs and relationships built are not something I’ve done on my own,” Fox, 35, continued. “It truly has been a team effort, and I am happy to represent where I work with this award. “
A bilingual administrator, Fox works hard to make sure all Spanish-speaking students and parents feel comfortable and heard at Hampton Bays Middle School, which has an English language learner population of 26 percent.
“As a Spanish-speaking school leader, she plays a vital role in sustaining a positive school-home partnership, working in close coordination with parents who are English-speaking, Spanish-speaking and bilingual,” Middle School Principal Dennis Schug Jr., also a St. Joseph’s College alum, told The Southampton Press.
The award also nominates Fox, who holds a seat on SJC Long Island’s Alumni Association Board, for the national award of the same name.
“My favorite part of my job is seeing the opportunity to help students grow into young adults,” Fox said. “As a middle school educator, I work with students ranging in age from 10-14 years. These are some of the most important and formative years in their lives, and I enjoy having a daily opportunity to influence those lives in a positive and caring manner.
“I remind students regularly that I am always here for them and they will always have a trusted adult to speak to,” she added.
Thankful for Her Time at St. Joe’s
Fox, who lives in West Islip with her husband Timothy and their two young children William and Abigail, credits her time as a student at St. Joseph’s College for helping her get where she is today.
“The seminar classes with my education professors provided me the opportunity to learn from experienced teachers and school building/district leaders,” she said. “They shared personal experiences from the classroom and gave me authentic feedback once I began my own teaching career.”
She also learned the power of encouragement from her professors, Fox said.
“Dr. Steven Fuchs, Dr. Antoinette Hertel, Sister Nancy Gilchriest and especially Sister Karen Donahue served as trusted mentors and educators in my college experience,” she said. “Each of them provided me with support and encouragement to accomplish my educational goals. I learned from them how important it is to serve others and provide encouragement for my students, colleagues, and families in my school community.”
Fox, who gained leadership experience while serving on the Campus Activities Board, said her years at SJC Long Island were among her happiest years as a student.
“It was the perfect college for me,” she said, “that challenged me academically and provided a small classroom experience that I needed to create relationships with my professors and peers.”