Mr. Unal Karakas is an educator with eighteen years of experience, with his current role being the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in the Glen Cove City School District. In his current position, Mr. Karakas has helped support the development of teachers and administrators by spearheading a New Administrators’ Academy and supporting the development of a New Teachers’ Academy. He was also part of the Glen Cove City School District successfully passing a $30 million dollar bond. Prior to his role as Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Karakas was the principal of Brookside Elementary School in Baldwin for three years where his school was recognized as a National School of Character for their robust and inclusive character education program. Criteria for selection for this prestigious nomination included providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort. His focus at Brookside Elementary also included innovative teaching and learning, and his school was part of the district’s AASA’s Learning 2025 initiative to create student-centered, equity-focused, and future-driven education. In-fact, his school’s Hello Neighbor Project helped recognize the district for NYSSBA’s “Champion of Change” Award.
Prior to moving to Long Island, Mr. Karakas was an elementary school principal in the Bronx for four years, where he not only helped increase student achievement, but he brought in technology education, fine arts, and sports into the school to develop the whole child. Mr. Karakas also started his educational experience as an elementary school teacher in Queens, teaching in the very school he went to as a child, with his teaching experience being in fifth and sixth grade for nearly 10 years.
As a lifelong learner, Mr. Karakas is currently pursuing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University. His doctorate is on Leadership and Learning in Organizations, and has a focus on innovative and equitable leadership. He also received his Master of Arts in Childhood Education from New York University, his Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Iona College, and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Iona College.
Mr. Karakas is excited to meet all stakeholders in the Valley Stream 24 district and to begin working together with all.