Donna DeSiato G’04 Named NYS Superintendent of the Year

Donna DeSiatoDonna DeSiato, superintendent of East Syracuse Minoa (ESM) Central School District, has been named 2021-22 New York State Superintendent of the Year by the New York State Council of School Superintendents. She will be recognized, along with NYS Principal of the Year Eva Williams G’00, on the field during the Syracuse Orange football game vs. Pittsburgh on November 27 as part of Project ElevatED

DeSiato is a graduate of the educational leadership Ed.D. program in the School of Education and has worked closely with School of Education faculty and students during her time at ESM. She was previously assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructional services with the Syracuse City School District.

Williams and DeSiato will be recognized during the November 27 Syracuse football game as part of Project ElevatED, an initiative aimed at raising the profile of careers in education and recognizing education professionals for the difference they make in the lives of students. Syracuse University joins Florida State University and schools across the ACC in this effort and recognition. All current and former education professional at the game will also be recognized, as will participants of the fall 2021 Otto’s Reading Kickoff.

DeSiato credits her time at Syracuse University as foundational to her current role and this award.

“As  I reflect on my leadership journey and my doctoral work at Syracuse University in the educational leadership program I value the scholarly learning and the professional network of support and connectivity that contributed to my professional leadership development, growth and accomplishments.”


DeSiato is credited with establishing powerful partnerships with local businesses to create career pathways and professional training for ESM students, including the recent launch of the first Aviation Career Pathway high school courses in New York State. In 2015, ESM was recognized nationally at the White House as one of the first STEM Learning Ecosystems. Previous honors for DeSiato include the 2015 Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award by the New York State STEM Education Collaborative, the STEM Woman of the Year Award by the CNY STEM Hub in 2016 and the STEM Outreach Individual of the Year 2020 Award by TACNY.

East Syracuse Minoa board of education president Deborah Kolod says, “We can think of no one who is more deserving of this award than Donna. She is the quintessential 21st century school leader, a professional who authentically believes in the value of inclusivity and community partnership. She embraces creative problem solving and welcomes contributions from every corner of our school community.”

Her award, and nomination for national superintendent of the year, has been covered by local media including Spectrum News, Eagle News, WSYR NewsChannel 9, CNY Central, and Congratulations Donna!