Leonardo Rivera, World Languages Chairperson K-12, Plainview Old Bethpage CSD.
Graduated from Queens College, CUNY Cum Laude with a concentration in Italian. Spanish and Secondary Education in 2006. He has received citations from both the Italian Department and Secondary Education and Youth Services Department for excellence. Also, from Queens College, CUNY he earned an MA in Italian in 2011. From SUNY Stony Brook he earned a Post-graduate degree in Educational Leadership in 2016 and holds both an SBL and SDL license from NYS. In 2019 he received the Harvard Club of Long Island Distinguished Teacher award.
As of July 3rd, 2019, Leonardo was appointed as World Languages Chairperson of the Plainview Old Bethpage Central School District. He will join a large and diverse world languages department of dedicated and professional educators that teach five languages.
Before joining Plainview Old Bethpage CSD, Leonardo was part of the World Languages Department of Baldwin Union Free School District as an Italian and Spanish teacher since 2006, and an additional role of Department Consultant from 2014. Over the course of his tenure, he has officially mentored three first year world language teachers and one technology specialist teacher, and unofficially mentored several more. He was cooperating teacher to two Italian student teachers. He helped to guide and develop new teachers’ talents, and assist in developing sound teaching practices, classroom management strategies based on positive reinforcement, honesty and mutual respect, and how to maintain accurate records
His dedication to the craft of teaching has placed him in various leadership roles from demonstrating new technologies and practices to his colleagues, to writing revised curricula for the department’s Italian classes that reflect ACTFL, NYS, AP College Board, and ISTE standards, and reflect a focus on production, research, and project-based instruction. Teachers and administrators routinely seek out Leonardo to collaborate on various projects, from classroom redesigns, to professional development presentations on integrating technology and instruction.
Leonardo has attended hundreds of hours of professional development and cultivated and nurtured a curiosity in the role of technology in education. As a result, he has adopted new styles of teaching, infusing technology in his lessons in a seamless fashion aimed at improving students’ research and critical thinking skills, fluency, and helping to nurture a lifelong interest and love of learning.
Prior to becoming a licensed NYS world languages teacher, Leonardo was a licensed NYS insurance broker having worked in and co-owned a family insurance brokerage. His book of business comprised of both personal lines accounts, and small- to medium-sized commercial lines accounts.
When he isn’t teaching, Leonardo can be found at home with his wife of ten years working in the garden, growing flowers, apples, and summer vegetables, and taking care of their two cats Mr. Foo and Mr. Flufflypants.