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Dr. Donna Desiato
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Dr. Donna Desiato

Dr. Donna DeSiato, a respected leader in the field of public education, proudly serves as superintendent of the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District since 2005. She has previously served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services, Director of Elementary Education, principal, vice principal, instructional specialist and teacher in the Syracuse City School District. Dr. DeSiato’s professional experiences include building, district and state level leadership in building collaborative partnerships, strategic planning and leading systemic transformation in learning.

Most recently in 2018-19, ESM launched the first Aviation Career Pathway High School Courses in New York State and the ESM Spartan Academy as one of 19 Early College High Schools in New York State. In 2013 the District was awarded the “Be the Change for Kids Innovation Award” by the Nanoscale College of Science and Engineering and New York State School Board Association and in 2015 ESM was recognized nationally at the White House as one of the first STEM Learning Ecosystems. She has presented on Innovative Learning Models, STEM and 21st Century Learning at the national conferences of AASA and NSBA.

As a recognized woman in leadership, Dr. DeSiato was instrumental in the inaugural convening of the Central New York Chapter of the Association for Women in Administration. Dr. DeSiato is a Trustee at Onondaga Community College, President of the Syracuse University Study Council and serves on the Executive Committee of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority. Dr. DeSiato was awarded the 2015 Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award by the New York State STEM Education Collaborative, the 2016 STEM Woman of the Year Award by the CNY STEM Hub, the 2020 STEM Outreach Individual of the Year Award by TACNY and the 2021 Leadership Award by Kool 2 Be Kind (KB2K).

Past AASA New York Superintendent of the Year Winners:

2021 New York Superintendent of the Year: Roberto Padilla

About the Superintendent of the Year:

As a sponsor of the superintendent of the Year program, First Student wants to recognize these leaders in a special way this year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption that has affected all education systems but also the innovative approaches that the superintendents and school districts addressed through radio, television, zoom and take-home packages. These superintendents are the very best in public education and are needed more than ever during this crisis.

About the Award:

The superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, The School superintendents Association, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.

State level winners are selected on the following criteria:

  • Leadership for Learning
  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Community Involvement

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