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Lifelong educator Carl Militello has decades of experience as a school administrator and special education advocate.
Currently, Carl Militello serves as the superintendent of schools in the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District in New York. He has held various other public school administration jobs, though no matter where he goes he considers himself an educator in and out of the classroom. For the past five years he has combined his previous experience as an administrator, professor, and counselor to do his best in order to maintain the excellent educational standards at Wheatfield Central.
He is also very active in community and academic organizations. Carl Militello is part of the WNY Leadership Group, Literary Volunteers of Western New York, Carthage Hospital Board, Carthage Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and several other organizations. For the past three decades, he served at Erie Community College as an assistant professor for the New York State Drinking Driver Program —one of his degrees is in alcohol and substance abuse counseling. He believes that he can apply his knowledge as an educator and professional in order to do his part for these organizations.
When he is not busy working, sitting in meetings, or doing service events, Militello is either on the golf course or in his personal English-style garden. He has golfed for years and believes that practice makes perfect, especially for golf, though his 10 handicap is impressive. He has worked and studied hard to get to his current position as a superintendent and has enjoyed every minute of it.
A lifelong teacher, social advocate, and school administrator, Carl Militello has created a life out of hard work and dedication. He went to the State University of New York, Buffalo, where he received a bachelor of science in general and special education. The University at Buffalo is a public university that is research-intensive and believes in developing creative, forward-thinking students to make waves in future careers. It was founded in 1846 and has approximately 29,000 students per year. One of its highlighted accomplishments is that it boasts a 14 to 1 student to faculty ratio, a number that is highly important to the success of students and institutions both.
Student to faculty ratios, as educators like Carl Militello know, are crucial for classroom success. In university settings where students are self-starters and responsible for their own work, it is important to have class sizes small enough for every student to participate in lectures and in-class discussions. Large lecture-type classes are a necessity for most universities, though smaller seminar-sized classes are preferred for advanced courses that require a lot of instructor-student interaction. Class sizes in primary education, however, are just as important; with too many students (a problem that almost every school district in the country faces), it is difficult for teachers to fully interact and engage every student. Administrators and school boards are tasked to balancing out the indifferences as fairly as possible to ensure success for students.
After his undergrad, Carl Militello pursued his master of arts in exceptional education at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He landed his first teaching position in Fredonia at St. Joseph’s School for Exceptional Children. He taught special education, a subject he is extremely passionate about, and became a high school special education teacher and director of adult education a year later for the Lake Shore Central School District in Angola. His first few years as an educator were full of moves and promotions, and he became the assistant principal at Eden Junior and High School before advancing to a full principal role six years later.
As a principal, Carl Militello understood the importance of professional development programs for students. He believed that students need safe environments, support systems, and inspiration in order to become successful outside of school, whether that is at a university, a technical school, or in the work force. He even introduced a homeroom program that helped struggling students with homework and other difficulties. His success as a principal granted him a promotion to superintendent for the Wellsville Central School District in 1997. At Wellsville, Militello improved teacher evaluations, pitched concepts for neighborhood schools, and reduced the entire district’s budget by more than $800,000.
Teacher evaluation, difficult waters to tread in any educational institution, is important nonetheless to ensure that students are getting the best education possible. In upper level institutions, deans and administrators look at peer reviews between teachers and how students evaluate courses and instructors; with this data, the teacher is assessed.
Carl Militello stayed with the Eden Central School District for more than a decade before becoming an adjunct professor for several different colleges in New York. In 2000, he became an adjunct professor for the educational leadership department at the State University of New York at Fredonia, then, in 2004, at Trocaire College in the psychology department. He taught in college settings even after becoming the superintendent of schools for the Dunkirk City School District. He was also part of the education department at D’Youville College.
His superintendent position at Dunkirk was his first major step after his principal job at Eden Central. Meanwhile, in 2002, he became the superintendent for the Carthage Central School District. During his time at Dunkirk and Carthage, Militello developed a passion for counseling. Early in his career, he utilized his education and even became an assistant professor for a drinking driver program at Erie Community College.
Carl Militello received a certificate of educational counseling from Canisius College, where he studied crisis intervention, school organization, vocational development, and general counseling theory and processes. He utilizes his knowledge as a counselor in his day-to-day activity and also with the Kaleida Health System. He is in an internship position in chemical health services where he applies his education as an alcohol and substance abuse counselor.
Substance abuse, alcohol, and special education are three areas that Carl Militello has actively studied throughout his career. Special education, in his opinion, is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, areas in education due to its diverse application as a field. As a licensed special education teacher, he understands the importance of developing IEPs (individualized education programs) for special education students. Children with conditions such as autism, sensory disorders, orthopedic impairments, brain injury, speech troubles, learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and other disabilities depend on IEPs in order to achieve their educational goals.
Children between ages three and 21 with one or more disabilities are evaluated (by request) before receiving an IEP. If certain parameters are met, IEPs are granted; however, not every student with disabilities qualifies. IEPs are tailored to fit students’ needs in order to provide conditions and materials appropriate to their conditions. Some students require special classroom accommodations, learning equipment, one-on-one sessions, therapists, and other resources. As a student grows and becomes more comfortable with learning environments, IEPs evolve with them.
Militello believes in the power of IEPs but knows that they are difficult to write up regardless of any given student’s conditions. IEPs require well-rounded, experienced educators and support staff in order to fulfill requirements to make sure every student is given fair treatment and required resources in order to succeed. Throughout his career, he has made it his job to improve special education programs throughout the various districts he has worked for.
Though teaching is his main passion, he has a knack for organizational involvement. He is a member of the NYS Small City Schools Council, SUNY Fredonia Administrative Advisory Committee, the Wellsville Kiwanis and Lions, the NYS Council of Superintendents, and countless other organizations. Carl Militello actively seeks to improve himself and become involved in every way possible.
When he is not busy teaching or administrating, Carl Militello enjoys reading, golfing, and gardening. His hobbies keep him busy enough but he understands the importance of self-improvement. Golf and gardening stem from his passion for the outdoors and fresh air.
Like other successful educators, he knows how crucial it is to actively pursue advanced degrees and stay up to date on new teaching trends. His involvement with various organizations and educational committees helps him understand other area school districts and how each one supports the other by teaching students how to become successful in their own right. As an active community supporter, his time in the Chamber of Commerce is spent developing relationships with business owners and other educators; people never know when a local business may have a job opening for students.
He hopes to continue achieving success in the various aspects of his career. His advocacy efforts for special education students sees no end, and he always believes there is room for improvement with IEPs and how educational institutions handle special education students. The No Child Left Behind program is only the beginning, and it will take a shift in the education programs in order to train teachers to better understand individualized conditions and learning disabilities.
His alcohol and substance abuse education was put to use right after graduation. For more than three decades, Carl Militello has advocated for drinking and driving programs throughout the state and understands the importance of providing seminars, lectures, and other materials to high school students in order to learn about the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol.
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