Rachel Quattrocchi, Wantagh Middle School’s new assistant principal, has another feather in her cap.
Quattrocchi was named a recipient of the 2022 Collaborators of Excellence Award by the New York State English Council.
Quattrocchi, in her first year as assistant principal, received the award for her work in promoting literacy in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, where she was a reading specialist for 12 years. She partnered with her building’s library media specialist to create a book café event in which students got to sample books from different genres.
In her short time in Wantagh, Quattrocchi is already working to create new ways for middle school students to explore literature. She is working with Principal Anthony Ciuffo to create a book club as well as a book talk event for both students and their parents.
“My passion for spearheading and working collaboratively to host these types of events stems from a love of literacy, teaching and compassion for the reluctant reader,” she said. “Promoting a love of books requires a strong knowledge of great books, as well as an excellent rapport with middle school students.”
Quattrocchi wants to work as a team with Wantagh Middle School educators to promote an “inspire, not require” reading mentality, in which students read a book because they want to. Already, the middle school uses a workshop model, allowing students choice in their book selections. Ms. Quattrocchi hopes to further encourage students to read for pleasure, beyond reading that is required for class.
“It is important to continue to push the joy of reading for our middle school students,” she said. “There is a book for everyone.”
Quattrocchi, a member of the New York State English Council, was selected for the Collaborators of Excellence Award for implementing best practices in reading instruction, challenging students to become skillful readers and writers, and showing a dedication to her own learning and profession. She will receive the award during a ceremony on Oct. 21 in Albany.