The Great Neck Public Schools welcomes Brian McConaghy as a new assistant principal at South Middle School. He joins the administrative team of Dr. James Welsch, principal, and Dr. Gina Cartolano, assistant principal. McConaghy replaces Gerald Cozine who left South Middle as an assistant principal to become the new principal at North Middle School. (An article on Mr. Cozine previously appeared in this publication.)
Most recently, from 2014–15, McConaghy was assistant principal/director of guidance at the Bayport-Blue Point High School, in Bayport, serving as an instructional leader for the school’s 800 students. He was responsible for student management and discipline, worked closely with students, parents and teachers to address academic, social and emotional concerns, assigned substitute teachers, was responsible for all grade reporting, confirmed all high school data to the state and served on several academic, leadership and improvement committees and teams.
McConaghy was Secondary Chair (grades 5 to12) for Social Studies, from 2013–14, at the East Williston Union Free School District, in Old Westbury. He prepared and monitored a budget that supported the instructional program and presented programs to parents and the board of education on social studies-related matters. He was the recipient of the 2014 Simmons Award given by the East Williston Education Foundation to a school community member who “has gone beyond his/her responsibilities and made a measureable difference in the lives of his/her students.”
From 2003–13, while at The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, Mr. McConaghy was a secondary social studies teacher, where he initiated, developed and launched Wheatley’s Advanced Placement Human Geography course. He was also athletic coach for the Varsity Girls Basketball Team, Eighth-Grade Boys Soccer Team, and Eighth-Grade Softball Team; faculty advisor for the World Affairs Club, Long Island Challenge and Regional Quiz Bowl, Students Against Destructive Decisions/Peer Educators, Red Ribbon Week and created a school-wide “Powder Puff Football Game” to promote an anti-smoking campaign.
He was a social studies teacher and head coach for basketball and soccer from 2000–03 at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains.
From 1996–2000, McConaghy worked as a legal assistant and a legal/financial assistant.
McConaghy received his Masters of Science in teaching: secondary education (social studies) from Iona College (New Rochelle), and his Bachelor of Arts in political science (history minor) from Loyola College (Baltimore). He has an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from SUNY-Stony Brook, and a School Building Leader Certificate and Public School Teacher Certificate, Social Studies 7–12, both from the University of the State of New York, Education Department.
McConaghy is married with three young sons. His hobbies and interests include: soccer, basketball, football, golf, reading and travel.
Commenting on why he came to South Middle School, McConaghy said, “Great Neck has a long and storied tradition of creating quality programs that benefit all its students. The dynamic South Middle School team, with Dr. Welsch and Dr. Cartolano at the helm, is extraordinarily collaborative and supportive and creates an educational environment to which any educator would love to belong. South Middle truly seeks to develop students academically, socially and emotionally during these critical years in their lives, and offers countless opportunities for them to discover and pursue things they are passionate about. I know that Mr. Cozine has left some big shoes to fill, but I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful school and community.”
—Submitted by the Great Neck Public Schools