November 18, 2013
CHS hires assistant principal
35-year-old Long Island native will oversee discipline for grades 10-12
After whittling down an extensive pool of applicants, Cortland High School has found itself a new assistant principal.
John Zarcone beat out over 80 applicants for the grade 10 through 12 position, bringing with him 11 years of experience as a physical education teacher, wrestling coach and dean of students in Brooklyn. The 35-year-old Long Island native did his undergraduate work at SUNY Cortland, before earning a master’s in special education and administration at Touro College and Mercy College, respectively.
“I was interested in SUNY Cortland for athletic training,” Zarcone said. “When I got here I was steered in the direction of education and fell in love with it.”
Zarcone met Nichole DiPietro, who would later become his wife, during his time as an undergraduate at SUNY Cortland.
The couple married in 2008 and have two daughters: Juliana, 3, and Lillian, who is 10 months old.
“We didn’t have a driveway, we didn’t have a front yard, a backyard,” said Zarcone, of why they decided to move to Cortland. “It was important to us to be near one of our families and we wanted a better life for our girls.”
Zarcone will handle most of the school’s day-to-day discipline. Indeed it was this reason, Superintendent Mike Hoose said, that Zarcone received the job.
“His experience in working with students at-risk,” said Hoose of why he chose Zarcone. “He worked in a school with a 98 percent free or reduced lunch rate.”
Discounted or free lunches are an indicator of poverty, which in turn is an indicator of at-risk students.
“Having a lot of discipline, having some students who need a little bit of direction coming to me, I really feel like I’m going to be able to have a positive impact on students,” Zarcone said.
An accomplished wrestler in high school and at SUNY Cortland, Zarcone was the founder of Brooklyn’s Grand Street Campus’ wrestling team. Under his leadership, the squad became one of the city’s powerhouse teams, finishing as Public Schools Athletic League Dual Meet Champions in 2007 and 2012.
“I’d like to get in and help out,” said Zarcone of Cortland’s wrestling team. “But there are obviously other duties that come first as assistant principal.”
Having just finished his first week in Cortland, Zarcone said that, while he is still settling in to the routine of things, he is nothing but excited and looking forward to his time in Cortland.
“I’m ecstatic to be here in Cortland, part of the community,” Zarcone said. “I’m really looking to make an impact.”
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