Letter from an SBL Graduate
The following letter is from a College of St. Rose SBL graduate, Joshua Furnell, who just accepted a position as assistant principal at a high school.
Dear Ms. Burke,
My name is Joshua Furnell, and I recently accepted an assistant principal position at the high school of my dreams. I’d like to think that landing this job was the result of my charm, charisma and peerless acumen, but it wasn’t.
I am where I am now because of CITE/ St. Rose. I began my SBL coursework in 2013. After reviewing the first syllabus, I thought twice about continuing. But thanks to the support of Dr. Deborah DeLuca, and my classmate and friend Sean Pugni (himself now a successful administrator), I stuck with it. Sure, it was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Each CITE/ St. Rose course had its own challenges, but nothing could have prepared me for Dr. Richard Hawkins.
Dr. Hawkins served an astonishing 12 years as superintendent of his district and as a result knew what his potential admins. were in for and HOW to teach it: no games, no fluff, no fat. But coursework is one thing, the SBL test another. Fortunately, Dr. Hawkins’ enforcement and reinforcement of vital, exam-annihilating knowledge reduced the test to a breeze, and I walked out with time to spare.
Dr. Hawkins’ enforcement and reinforcement of vital, exam-annihilating knowledge reduced the test to a breeze, and I walked out with time to spare.
Next was the portfolio. At first this seemed like a daunting task. Fortunately I was mentored by Mr. Bob Ciccone. Mr. Ciccone was there for me every step of the way, providing support and answering questions. Working with him was a pleasure. I can’t express how thankful I am for his guidance.
After completing the SBL coursework, finalizing my portfolio and passing the test, I sat down with an expensive consultant to review my resume. She tweaked a few items and advised me to send it out. The problem? I received very few responses.
A few weeks later, I attended Dr. Frank Chiachiere’s CITE sponsored resume workshop. I was so impressed with the presentation that I asked the good professor if he’d consider working with me. He graciously provided me his information and suggested I send him my resume. I did, and a few days later it came back with corrections, edits, masterful marginalia, and multiple items my very expensive consultant missed. Professor Chiachiere suggested I review his modifications and get back to him. When I did, I asked him if he would work with me further. Thankfully, he did and we got started.
After polishing my resume, we designed a digital portfolio and began mock interviewing. The portfolio was an accomplishment in its own right, but it was the interview process that made the difference. Dr. Chiachiere is a master interviewer. This cannot be overemphasized: He knew exactly what to expect, and exactly what I would need to be ready.
This cannot be overemphasized: He knew exactly what to expect, and exactly what I would need to be ready.
After sending out the Chiachiere-approved documents, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Ms. Burke, I kid you not: Within ONE WEEK I received three interviews (Sewanhaka, Port Jefferson and Sag Harbor); and within two months, I had been extended so many invitations that I had to start turning them down!
All throughout the process Dr. Chiachiere was there. There wasn’t a week that went by without a phone call from him. Every few days there’d be another email from the good professor seeking updates, dispensing advice, and providing links to incredibly valuable sources of information. I cannot possibly express how thankful I am, how valuable Dr. Chiachiere’s support was, is and will continue to be.
When all was said and done, I’d received more than 30 interview invitations and multiple job offers. I decided, thanks to Dr. Chiachiere, to accept a position where I work now, and I couldn’t be happier. And when I say ‘thanks to Dr. Chiachiere’ I mean it: I simply would never have secured a position, especially in this climate, without him. It’s that simple.
I’d received more than 30 interview invitations and multiple job offers.
Ms. Burke, I could go on forever touting the CITE experience, but I know you are a busy person. Let me just finish by saying: I have a job where I want, doing what I want as a direct result of the encouragement, guidance and support of Dr. Richard Hawkins, Dr. Deborah DeLuca, Mr. Bob Ciccone and Dr. Frank Chiachiere. Where would CITE/ ST. Rose students be without the real-world-tested leadership of professionals like them? What more can we ask?
I have a job where I want, doing what I want as a direct result of the encouragement, guidance and support of Dr. Richard Hawkins, Dr. Deborah DeLuca, Mr. Bob Ciccone and Dr. Frank Chiachiere.
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Literacy, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Online PhD) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.
What question can we answer for you? 877-922-2483