Calm, positive and warm. That is how Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen describes his newest administrator.
Eric Ferraro replaced Anthony DeBlasio as the assistant principal of the high school over the summer, after Mr. DeBlasio was named assistant principal of the district’s middle school.
Born and raised in Blue Point, Mr. Ferraro joins the district after spending the last eight years at East Hampton High School, where he taught honors and Advanced Placement English classes, chaired the English Department, and served as dean of students.
“It’s kind of nice,” Mr. Ferraro said of his first job as an administrator. “I’m coming from teaching, so this is opening up all these doors to new experiences for me.”
Although he was put through a “rigorous” application process that included several interviews and meetings over the course of a month, Mr. Ferraro was the front-runner from the beginning, according to Mr. Clemensen. His willingness to take on such a thorough vetting process proved his dedication, added Hampton Bays High School Principal Christopher Richardt.
Mr. Richardt said Mr. Ferraro, who is salaried at $110,000 but will make a pro-rated salary of about $93,000 this year, has been a natural fit with the rest of the staff, adding that the student body also has received him well.
“We’re into week number three and I’ve been really impressed with the role he’s taken with the faculty here,” Mr. Richardt said during an interview last week. “I see kids walking out of his office smiling after meeting with him, so they like what they see.”
Mr. Ferraro, who still lives in Blue Point with his wife, Emily, and their 2-year-old daughter Ella, also serves as the second assistant fire chief of the Blue Point Fire Department, a hefty commitment on top of his administrative duties at the school, but one he said he feels prepared to handle. “My job here comes first,” he noted.
He’s already earned a reputation with some of the students for being the guy who drives the fire vehicle to school, Mr. Clemensen said. Mr. Ferraro joked of driving one of the department’s fire trucks to school one day just for fun.
Mr. Ferraro became a teacher upon the recommendation of his 10th grade English teacher at Bayport-Blue Point High School, Joseph Pantaleo, who he student-taught for and with whom he still speaks on a regular basis. Mr. Ferraro noted that he is glad to still be working in a high school, explaining that, in his opinion, the high school years are the most important in terms of social, emotional and academic growth for students.
Nearly a month into the new school year, Mr. Ferraro is still adjusting to his new surroundings, memorizing names and faces. Switching to a smaller student population—Hampton Bays High School has about 600 students while East Hampton High School boasts almost 1,100—has made the transition somewhat easier, though it has been no walk in the park.
“There’s no shallow end of the pool in high school administration,” Mr. Clemensen said. “You jump right into the deep end.”
Mr. Ferraro earned his bachelor’s degree in English, with concentrations in English and British literature, from SUNY at Stony Brook and his master’s degree in secondary education from Dowling College in Oakdale.