South Orangetown Central School District

TZHS Principal Melissa Luciano

At its July 20 meeting, the Board of Education appointed Melissa Luciano as Tappan Zee High School Principal, effective July 21, 2023.

“We are thrilled to have Ms. Luciano as our new principal at Tappan Zee High School! She is a visionary and caring leader invested in building strong relationships with students, staff and parents to create a welcoming and supportive school culture,” said Superintendent of Schools Brian Culot, Ed.D. “Ms. Luciano has been instrumental in creating impactful programming that meets the needs of all students. Her knowledge, experience and dedication to our students and staff made her the very best choice to lead TZHS into the future.”

As Assistant Principal at TZHS since September 2019, Luciano has distinguished herself as a visible, student-centered leader. Under her direction, and in close collaboration with the World Language department, the implementation of the high school’s New York Seal of Biliteracy program grew from graduating three students in 2019 with demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages to 40 students earning the Seal this year. As part of a school-wide effort to establish a physically and emotionally safe learning environment, Luciano spearheaded the creation of the high school’s charter, RISE (Respect, Inspire, Support and Empower), in partnership with faculty and students. Over the past four years, she worked with students, faculty and school counselors in developing the yearly academic schedule, with a keen focus on meeting the needs and interests of all students. This effort has contributed to increased student participation in electives and career pathways.

“I’m honored to serve as the principal of Tappan Zee High School,” Luciano noted. “This is a wonderful community and I’m excited to continue working towards providing a positive and innovative school culture.”

Prior to joining the South Orangetown Central School District, Luciano was the World Language Department Chairperson (2011-19) at Suffern High School, where she had taught Spanish since 2007 and coached varsity softball for six years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Adolescent Education with a Spanish concentration from SUNY Plattsburgh and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University. Luciano holds New York State professional certifications for both School Building Leader and Spanish 7-12.