Goodbye Joe

Ashley Hughes

     Joe Ciccarelli, former Assistant Principal, has left Cedar Park in order to take on his new job as the Principal of Four Points Middle School, the newest LISD school. Ciccarelli is currently in the process of hiring faculty and staff, and making additional preparations so that teaching can begin in the fall of 2010 when this new school is scheduled to open its doors.

     “I’m new to the position, I’m new to the school, and everyone else is going to be new,” Ciccarelli said. “The community is really excited to get this school. It’s really fun to begin something that’ll still be here 50 years from now.”

     Ciccarelli attended the University of Texas where he earned his bachelor’s degree, he earned his master’s and doctorate from Texas State University. He has been working in education for 26 years. His father was an educator for middle and high school science, which kindled Ciccarelli’s desire to teach. However, Ciccarelli didn’t go to school for teaching initially.

     “I went into business after I got out of college, but it didn’t fit me. I wasn’t suited for it,” Ciccarelli said. “Some little voice in my head told me to go into teaching, and I was lucky enough to listen to it.”

     Since then, Ciccarelli has taught middle and high school for sixteen years, where he taught social studies and QUEST. He also worked in the central office, but decided that he wanted to be back with kids. Four years ago, he made the decision to be a campus principal. This led to Ciccarelli’s position as an Assistant Principal of Cedar Park for the last two and a half years.

     “The kids at Cedar Park are nice,” Ciccarelli said. “When I first started being an AP, I expected to have kids more at odds with me, but it hasn’t been like that. They said hello and high fived me. I feel like there are good relationships, fun and warmth from the students at Cedar Park.” Ciccarelli has aspirations for his future after being Principal of Four Points. He hopes to one day be the Assistant Superintendent.

     Ciccarelli commented that Cedar Park High School was different than any other school he had been to. The students were a dominant factor in this.

     “There’s more positivity,” Ciccarelli said.  “I don’t see a super rigidity between groups; I see people crossing lines between groups. I think there is something special [at Cedar Park] and people need to recognize this and build it up,” Ciccarelli said. “I love Leander ISD, it’s a wonderful district and I’ll stay as long as I can.”

     Ciccarelli also brags on his fellow assistant principals at Cedar Park.

     “The AP team is the best group of people I have ever worked with,” Ciccarelli said. “They are all absolutely top notch people.”

     Many students will also miss his presence at school. From his humor to his helpful attitude, his absence will be a blow to students.

     “He was always willing to help and always had something relevant to say,” Tanner Dixon, junior, said. “I respected his opinion.”

     The teachers at Cedar Park will also miss Ciccarelli and his obvious attachment to the students of the school.

     “What makes him unique is that cares for the students,” David King, Pre-AP English I teacher, said. “He’s just very professional.”

     Although he will be missed, thanks and congratulations to Mr. Ciccarelli for everything he has done and will continue doing as he moves on to Four Points Middle School.