Thursday, 28 May 2009 15:54
The Board of Education of the New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School District recently announced that Richard Nicolello, Esq. will be stepping down as general counsel to the New Hyde Park Board of Education effective June 30, after 22 years of service.
Nicolello, who also serves as Nassau County Legislator, was recently promoted to be the head of the Insurance Coverage Group at the law firm of Congdon, Flaherty, O’Callaghan. While he remains committed to the educational goals of the school district, Nicolello believes that his new position will not allow him to devote the proper amount of time needed to maintain the level of services required of the school board’s general counsel.
Nicolello is a life-long resident of New Hyde Park. He attended Hillside Grade School and New Hyde Park Memorial High School. He was hired by the NHP-GCP UFSD Board of Education to serve as its general counsel in 1987. At the time, Nicolello was 27 years old and 2 years out of law school. He took over for Steven Smolenski, Esq., who served as counsel for 24 years. Since its earliest days, the district has hired local attorneys to serve in a part-time capacity as the board’s general counsel. This included such prominent New Hyde Park residents as Eugene Denton (hired by the Board of Education at its 2nd meeting in 1905), David Holman and Nat Tedone.
Nicolello stated, “It has been an honor to serve as general counsel to the Board of Education. I have had the privilege of working with many dedicated and hard working board members and professional educators for more than two decades. I am proud to have worked for a district that has provided such an outstanding education to generation after generation of children from our community.”
When Nicolello first joined the school district in 1987, he worked with Superintendent of Schools Joseph Costello, who had been principal of the Hillside Grade School at the time Nicolello was a student. The Board of Education at the time included two of his former teachers-Jim Parla and Ed Quinlan. “To have gone to this school system and to return to serve as the attorney for those who were my teachers and principal was a wonderful experience,” Nicolello added, “The education that I received in the district’s schools provided me with a strong foundation to pursue my dreams of becoming an attorney and holding public office.”
During his 22 years of service to the Board, Nicolello was present at almost every regularly scheduled board meeting. He worked with board members, superintendents, and staff on a daily basis and has been involved in the school community in many ways apart from his service as general counsel.
Over the years he participated in read-aloud programs, spoken at school assemblies and moving-up day ceremonies, and given presentations on school law to parents at PTA conferences.
Further, he also helped the district clerks run school elections. One of his most recent accomplishments. as general counsel, was working with the administration and board members to completely revise the Board of Education’s policies.
Nicolello said, “I am closing a big chapter in my life, but I am looking forward to the new challenges that lay ahead. I am confident that the district will receive top notch representation from the law firm of Lamb and Barnosky, which will be assuming the role of general counsel on July 1.”
Nicolello, is still a New Hyde Park resident where he lives with his wife Susan and his children Kathleen and Patrick.