Charlie Cardillo Community Room dedicated at Manhasset

Charlie Cardillo Community Room dedicated at Manhasset
Manhasset Board of Education President Regina Rule, left, pranked former superintendent Charlie Cardillo during the dedication ceremony for the new Charlie Cardillo Community Room in the Manhasset district office building. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The new Charlie Cardillo Community Room in the Manhasset school district office building was filled to the brim with parents, teachers and staff members as former School Superintendent Charles Cardillo was honored Thursday and the room was dedicated.

Charles Cardillo was surrounded by his wife Debbie, his mother-in-law and his children during the dedication. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Before the Board of Education meeting Thursday, Cardillo was honored once again for his 12 years of dedication to the children and community of Manhasset.

Trustee Carlo Prinzo met Cardillo when they were both beginning their positions with the district, and Prinzo credits the former superintendent for how far the district has come since 2005.

“We were at odds with our community, we were at odds with our teachers, we were at odds with ourselves,” Prinzo said. “It took a little while, but we finally came together and realized we’re here for those kids. It all came together very quickly, Charlie led that charge, and I thank him.”

Charles and Debbie Cardillo pose in front of the new community room sign. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Munsey Park School teacher’s aide and Manhasset mother of three boys Lauren Baranello said she was raised in Manhasset and has seen the change from before Cardillo was in charge to now.

“It’s a very tight-knit, family-oriented town, but you changed the whole school district around and I saw it evolve into something beautiful,” Baranello said. “You have a special touch that affected a lot of people who don’t even have children here that have heard about you through the grapevine.”

Board President Regina Rule unveiled the plaque outside the community room, which reads: “With integrity, energy, passion and an unwavering commitment to excellence, Charlie Cardillo was wholly devoted to the Manhasset students, schools and community. Dedicated to collaboration and with mutual respect for all, Charlie made Manhasset his family and cared deeply about the well-being of each student. Always approachable and seemingly omnipresent, Charlie consistently exemplified the values our community holds dear.”

Cardillo said it has been a rough transition since his retirement June 30, but he has been working part-time as Nassau County Council of School Superintendents executive director.

“I hope this room always serves what it should: students first, students first, students first,” Cardillo said. “I know all districts say that, but you have to really feel it. Every child counts. Whether it’s a meeting of the board or the admin team or the SCA or maybe the student senate, whatever groups are doing to be using it, so it can really take on its own notion of what we really are, family and community.”

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