Office of Special Education and Pupil Services
Dr. Joseph Hickey
Dr. Joseph Hickey Named Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Services
January 6, 2011
At its December meeting, the Board of Education appointed Dr. Joseph G. Hickey as assistant superintendent for special education and pupil services of the Great Neck Public Schools, effective Jan. 31. Dr. Hickey was the unanimous choice of the selection committee. He replaces Dr. Dennis Ryan, who retired in August. Ms. Sabrina Cantore, director for special education and pupil services, has been acting assistant superintendent.
Dr. Thomas Dolan, superintendent of schools, called Dr. Hickey a "lifetime special educator" whose career has spanned more than 26 years and began, at age 17, as a teaching assistant for an autistic child. Throughout the "challenging interview process," Dr. Hickey demonstrated that he is "genuine about caring about kids." "Dr. Hickey's addition to our staff is certain to advance our mission and allow us to continue meeting the needs of students in the ways that our community has come to expect," said Dr. Dolan.
He continued, "Joe Hickey is a proven leader who will combine a professional commitment to special education with his compassion for children. His prior experiences have prepared him well for this new position. He comes to us from West Babylon where he has been principal of the Tooker Avenue Elementary School since 1997." At West Babylon, he was instrumental in developing recommendations for district policies and a grant-writing team, while leading a goal-oriented and creative school. He served on a district-wide committee for the Governor's Award for Excellence and was the recipient of a Silver Certificate.
Before that, from 1995-97, Dr. Hickey was an educational administrator and district placement officer in the central office of District 7 in the Bronx. His responsibilities included managing the special education operations of a district with some 16,000 general education and 3,000 special education students, and overseeing three special education supervisors, 75 clinicians, and 40 support personnel. He restructured and maximized district-wide special education operations and procedures and significantly reduced out-of-compliance statistics by ensuring timely and appropriate placement of students requiring services. From 1989-95, Dr. Hickey was a special education teacher, grades K-12, in the New York City Public Schools.
Reflecting on his career thus far, Dr. Hickey said, "As I look back over many years in education, I am proud of the positions I have held, the milestones achieved, and the positive effects I have had on the children, families, and communities where I have been employed. My broad experiences working with children at all levels, in both general and special education, as well as serving in central office and building level administrative positions afford me the unique perspective of viewing the educational world through many different lenses."
About coming to Great Neck, Dr. Hickey said, "I view the assistant superintendent's position as a new beginning in my career, a career that I look forward to spending with the Great Neck school community."
Dr. Hickey received a Bachelor of Arts in teaching/communications, a Master of Science in special education, and a Professional Diploma in administration and supervision from Fordham University. He earned a Doctor of Education degree from Dowling College, where he is an adjunct associate professor of educational administration, leadership, and technology, a position he has held since 2004. His doctoral dissertation dealt with school boards, governance, and the relationship between a school board and a superintendent.