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East Aurora Middle School principal wins statewide honor

East Aurora Middle School Principal Mark D. Mambretti just became famous statewide in educational circles.

The principal – whose school made news last year when it was selected as the 2012 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence – has been named New York State’s 2013 Middle School Principal of the Year.

The award from the School Administrators Association of New York State humbled Mambretti. It was an honor he didn’t expect to receive, he said, though he learned in February that he had been nominated.

The 35-year-old administrator, who is in his fifth year as East Aurora’s Middle School principal, said the association told him in late March that he would receive this year’s award. His school houses about 600 students in fifth through eighth grades.

“I view it as a huge honor for the school,” Mambretti said Wednesday, crediting his staff for the statewide recognition. “I have a great team making me look good. As I told my faculty, I’ll only accept it in their name. This is a team effort. There’s no doubt about it, that without my faculty, I wouldn’t get it.”

Superintendent Brian D. Russ said Mambretti’s level of dedication to his students, teachers and the district is exemplary and has allowed the district to flourish, creating an atmosphere that supports innovative instruction and provides an exceptional learning experience for students.

Letters of recommendation from faculty, parents and students credited Mambretti for his leadership and communication skills, along with what was described as his deep knowledge of educational practices.

Before coming to East Aurora in 2008, Mambretti was principal of Nardin Academy Elementary School for one year, and he also was principal of St. Peter’s Catholic School in Lewiston. He was a teacher and administrator of the boys component at St. Augustine Scholars, an extended day, year-round program on Buffalo’s East Side.

Mambretti will be honored for his accomplishments at an awards ceremony May 10 in Latham, near Albany. As a winner, he is now a candidate for the award of National Middle School Principal of the Year, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Mambretti and 51 other middle school principals from across the country will go to Washington, D.C., in July for interviews for the national award. Three finalists will be selected for interviews. The national winner will be named at an awards ceremony this fall in Washington.