Garden City has named Dawn Cerrone as its new Director of Athletics and Physical Education, replacing the recently-retired Nancy Kalafus.
“I can honestly say that excellence is an expectation and standard for all,” Cerrone said. “Everyone that I have met is passionate, knowledgeable and invested in the school district and community.”
Cerrone’s predecessor, Kalafus, was beloved within the district. It is often difficult to replace someone that is held in such high regard. Cerrone, however, welcomes the challenge.
“I find it motivating to follow someone as legendary as Nancy Kalafus in the field of athletic administration,” she said. “Nancy has built one of the most successful athletic programs in the state. Not a day has gone by that I have not reflected on her successes as means to reach new heights.”
Although school is yet to start, there is no shortage of activities to keep an eye on at Garden City. Football practices have been under way for a couple of weeks and now all fall sports have begun practices. Cerrone noted that the priority right now is to make sure there is a “seamless start”, but school will be the focus once it begins.
Cerrone’s résumé certainly suggests she will have no issue upholding the reputation that Garden City athletics has built.
She was awarded her building and district administrative certificates from The College of St. Rose, Albany, NY in 2008 and 2009, respectively. She received her Master’s in Health Education from Hofstra University in 1989 and her Bachelor’s in Physical Education from St. Bonaventure University in 1986.
Prior to her employment in Garden City, Cerrone served in Roslyn Public Schools as the director of Physical Education, Health, Athletics, Intramurals & Recreation since 2010. She has also served as the director of Physical Education, Health & Athletics in Oyster Bay-East Norwich, where she worked as a physical education teacher from 1986 through her appointment as Interim Director in the district in November of 2008.
At Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, she served as Head Varsity Basketball Coach from 1996-2008 and Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach from 2003-2008. At Oyster Bay High School, she served as Head Varsity Volleyball Coach from 1987-1991 and 2005-08 and Head Varsity Basketball Coach from 1986-1990 and 2005-07.
During her tenure, she received the Nassau County Sports Commission’s High School Coach of the Year in 2008, and Newsday’s Coach of the Year and Nassau-Suffolk Catholic League Coach of the Year in 2002. Under her leadership, Cerrone’s basketball team was named the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association champions in 2000 and 2004, and Nassau-Suffolk Catholic League’s Undefeated Basketball Champions in 2002. Her volleyball team was the Class C Nassau County Champions in 2006, and the Nassau-Suffolk Catholic League “A” Lacrosse Champions in 2007.