Anthony Conelli, Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Leadership
- What is your current role and professional history?
As Deputy CAO, I oversee the Office of Leadership, including establishing the City’s leadership pipeline strategy and implementation for the entire DOE system. I began my career as an English Teacher then became the director of Satellite Academy-Forsyth. Later, I assumed the roles of a local instructional superintendent, network leader and cluster leader.
- What is exceptional leadership? An exceptional leader is someone who brings out the best in people, enables them to do excellent work and take pride in that work. An exceptional leader knows when to lead, support or follow.
- Why do you believe your leadership role is a critical lever to student achievement?
Our primary work is about developing the capacity of future school leaders to improve the quality of teaching and learning within schools. Teacher leaders collaborate with colleagues to improve their practice and strategize on how to better meet the needs of individual students. Our assistant principals and principals are trained to build strong professional communities and to support each teacher to ensure they are excellent.
- How do you continue to develop yourself professionally?
I am part of a critical friends group that meets monthly. I seek out professional opportunities to learn from others outside the NYCDOE. I stay current on education research and literature. Most importantly, I learn from my team through the reflection on our work and engagement in our planning.
- Tell us about a personal or professional experience that have shaped you as a leader.
When I was a principal, I brought my daughter to work with me on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. During a meeting, one of my students asked me if I would let my daughter attend my school - Satellite Academy-Forsyth. My quick answer was yes but the question itself stuck with me as I looked more closely at my leadership and at the school... I worked to strengthen the truth of my saying yes.
I also learned that we are not perfect. When I was a new director I learned that if I made a mistake, I needed to take responsibility for it, accept the criticism, and learn from it.
- What is unique about leading in New York City?
What I love about New York City is that it is so large and so intimate at the same time. Its largeness allows for flexibility and diversity that we can leverage to create deep work that is personalized. The city thrives on being on the cutting edge and this enables us to do some very interesting work.