Nick Comproski '14
Social studies teacher, Troy City School District
Hometown: Latham, NY
Major: BA in History with Certificate in Secondary Education
Current Involvement: In addition to my full time job as a teacher, I am currently an adjunct professor at the College of Saint Rose instructing students who are in a teacher preparation program. I am also a proud volunteer firefighter, officer (current lieutenant) and EMT for the Maplewood Volunteer Fire Department and a volunteer soccer and baseball coach at the North Colonie Central School District. Finally, I am back in school at the College of Saint Rose finishing up my Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership to obtain my SBL/SDL (school building leader and school district leader) licenses.
Involvement while at Siena: I was heavily involved as a student worker for the athletic department with a major focus on the men’s and women’s basketball programs. I did many different tasks from promotions and marketing, game day/event operations and community outreach. One of my favorite parts of the job was being that crazy guy jumping around on court during timeouts throwing tee shirts and other prizes into the crowd. I also was everybody’s favorite mascot Bernie St. Bernard for some games, local commercials/advertisements, community charity events/benefits and promotional events. My freshman year I worked in the public safety office as a student worker assisting on a few projects. The summer leading into my senior year I was a Summer Scholar Researcher for Sociology Professor Dr. Paul Murray conducting research for his article (which would be a part of a larger book he is writing) on “Catholics in the Civil Right Movement.” Finally I was a member of the AmeriCorp Scholar Program my senior year while I completed my student teaching experiences.
How do you involve yourself in your community? Beginning in 2010, I officially enrolled on my 18th birthday as a volunteer firefighter at the Maplewood Volunteer Fire Department and began two weeks later; I haven’t looked back since. I am currently a firefighter/emt and hold the leadership position as a Lieutenant. My senior year at Siena in the fall of 2013, my fire department awarded me the prestigious award of “Firefighter of the Year.” I got involved as my dad, his three brothers and my grandfather are all or were members and combined we have nearly 190 years total experience there. On top of responding to emergencies we also conduct a lot of community events and fundraisers to help those in need
Besides the fire department, I began as a volunteer soccer coach my sophomore year (fall 2011) and volunteer baseball coach my senior year (spring 2014) at the North Colonie Central School District coaching both middle school and high school. I have been a volunteer coaching ever since with the exception of this year with the pandemic.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Typically I am at Troy Middle School by 7:30 every morning Monday-Friday. I teach my five classes of 7th grade social studies (which is American History from the Native Americans and earliest settlers to the Civil War). I work with a very diverse student population and have the unique privilege to be not only their educator but also their classroom leader. My day also includes curriculum planning, grading, mentoring/check ins with our young scholars, meeting with my 7th grade team of teachers and data collection/discussions. Then after school depends on the day. I am volunteering at the firehouse responding to emergencies and completing trainings, teaching my class at St. Rose or completing my classes I am taking at St Rose. Once a week I am also washing dishes and delivering pizza for a place I have worked since I was 16, Deacon Blues in Watervliet (some of the best pizza in the Capital District). Before COVID there would also be sports practices and games in there as well.
On a non-work related side, I always make sure to include time to see my family and friends, which may include a round of golf or watching/attending sporting events.
How did your Siena education prepare you for the work you’re doing today?
Siena truly is the Education for a lifetime. Through Siena and my other volunteer work, I have seen and experienced how the idea of servant leadership, hard work, teamwork, dedication and a positive attitude can achieve anything. The Siena community of faculty and staff are true educators who want you to succeed. I am forever thankful to both the History and Education Departments at Siena College for their rigorous programs that pushed me to succeed and never give up. If anybody is interested in a career in education I always recommend Siena College. Many of the best educators (especially locally) are proud brothers and sisters of Siena.
Siena also laid down a great foundation to achieve many of my future career and personal goals.
I am working on my certification to become a school building and district leader with the career goal of becoming a superintendent of schools. I also have the career goal of becoming a Governor, or Congressmen and I believe my Siena education has given me a pathway to achieve those career goals.
Saints don’t sit on the sideline; they are the ones who make a difference in the world. As an educator, future school and district leader and (hopefully) Governor or Congressman, Siena College has taught me I can make a difference.
Describe your professional progression since leaving Siena.
When I first graduated, I enrolled in graduate school at the College of Saint Rose where I received a Masters of Science in Education (MSED) in Adolescent Students with Disabilities. While completing my master’s degree, I worked in a few different schools as a teacher’s aide and part time teacher (North Colonie Central School District, KIPP Tech Charter School and Lansingburgh High School). Once I graduated from St. Rose in August 2016, I got my first full time teaching job at Lansingburgh High School as a special education teacher. Next school year I went on to the City School District of Albany where I was a middle school special education teacher for day school and a social studies teacher for Albany High Schools night program. After three wonderful years at Albany, I went on to the Troy City School District this past summer and I am a current social studies teacher at Troy Middle School (where many of my coworkers are Siena Alumni).
I am finishing up my coursework, earning certification to become a building and district leader in school districts. While doing this, I am researching which school to continue my education as I look to complete a PhD or EdD in Educational Leadership and or Policymaking.
Advice for current Saints regarding their time at Siena: Saints don’t sit on the sidelines. They make the world a better place so get involved and work really hard but always make time for fun. This really is the best 4 years of your life, so during these 4 years make great networking connections and stay in touch with them. Make time for the relationships, they will benefit your present and future in more ways than one.
Career advice for current students:
- Set really high goals for yourself and if you fail, its ok; You probably achieved more by working towards your higher goals than if you set low goals or no goals at all.
- Build relationships and make time for them. Your friends/professors at Siena can (and a good chance will) be future networking partners and associates.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Often times if you pay attention to why you failed or did not have as much success as you hoped for, you grow more.
- Work really, really hard but always leave in some down time or time for fun.
- It is not about where you started, but where you finished or ended up.
- Siena is a community: Typically teams achieve more and they make change happen in the world.