Making history: Meet John Singleton Jr. – principal of Clear Stream Avenue School
John Singleton, Jr. is only the 10th principal in the more than 100-year history of Clear Stream Avenue School in Valley Stream. He's been the principal there for 14 years.
"I'm the first African American principal of Clear Stream Avenue School. It's a very community-oriented school and the love of education and the academic excellence that they had back then is still continuing today." said Singleton.
Singleton said he was motivated by his hard-working parents to pursue a career in education.
"I'm inspired by my dad – my dad was a World War II veteran. He didn't go to high school. My mother, on the other hand, graduated from college," he said.
Singleton, who grew up in Queens, has also taught in schools in Rockville Centre and Lynbrook. He said becoming a principal meant he had to overcome stereotypes, study hard and be his natural, personable self.
"The key is to inspire all children to be whatever they desire to be. As the principal of the building, that's my number one job – to make sure that students feel welcome, because if students feel welcome, they can learn," he said.
Note: Special thanks to News 12 photojournalist Thomas Schnaars who made an extra effort to put this story together.