Malverne honors Dr. King’s mission

Malverne School District presents awards in MLK’s name


The Malverne School District recently celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., awarding two district leaders with humanitarian awards in his name.

Malverne High School Principal Vincent Romano and JV football coach Tyrell Wilson each received the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for their extraordinary efforts to improve the community and dedication to helping students.

The event, held at the Howard T. Herber Middle School on Jan. 12, was a celebration of the “faith, love and perseverance that defines the legacy of MLK and proves a roadmap for a bright future,” according to the district. The event featured Malverne students in all grades paying tribute to Dr. King through poetry, music and video.

Known for his focus on empathy, patience and dedication to “discipline with dignity,” Romano was honored for admirably serving the Malverne School District for 19 years. Romano was recognized for fostering an atmosphere of pride and respect within the high school that has resulted in increased academic achievement for students and recognition of the school as a model of success.

Romano previously served as the district’s social studies department chairperson, and then assistant principal at Herber Middle School, before becoming principal of Malverne High School in 2013.

Romano, who was named a Phi Delta Kappa “Friend of Education” award winner by Molloy College in 2008, continues to work to make Malverne High School a model for education in the 21st century, district officials said. Through a thoughtful and strategic combination of interdisciplinary learning methods, mentorship programs and student leadership initiatives, he is forging positive relationships at all levels of the school community and giving teachers and students the tools they need to overcome challenges in order to succeed, officials added.

Coach Wilson is a product of Malverne schools, having attended Maurice W. Downing Primary School and Herber Middle School, before graduating from Malverne High School in 2000.

Wilson said his passion for football is second only to his love of family and community.

“I believe there is greatness abound in the Malverne community,” Wilson said. “My goal is to contribute to the strength of character and good energy that every child needs to live their best life.”

Wilson enrolled at Nassau Community College, where he studied education and played for the Lions, until he was sidelined by an injury. He continued his studies at Morgan State in Maryland and eventually went to work with special needs and at-risk youth, before returning to Malverne, working directly with kids in his beloved community.

In 2014, Wilson rejoined the Mules as JV football coach, and since he had never been a coach before, he credited others with giving him the knowledge and confidence to create his own style. Wilson said he believes in being a beacon of light for his players, getting them ready for winning at life, as well as football, by teaching them discipline, teamwork and to be good human beings.

Wilson founded the Lakeview/Malverne Lions football little league, introducing the game and bringing his positivity and spirit to the community’s 5-12 year olds.

When he’s not coaching, helping with homework or just giving a reassuring fist bump, Wilson can be found at Davison Avenue Intermediate School in Lynbrook serving as a monitor, where he says the younger generation provides him with the perspective and motivation that keeps him going strong.

This year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, was celebrated on Monday, Jan. 16. By promoting equal rights for Black Americans through the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King sought to bring all races together in the struggle for true equality.

King’s achievements were successful, in part, through grassroots activism — reaching people in hometowns and speaking face-to-face to bring about positive change. It was in this spirit that Malverne schools held their Jan. 12 event, district officials said.