skip to main content
Mission Statement

Our mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion.

pa1599 Park Avenue.
North Merrick, NY 11566
Tel: (516) 992-3117
Fax: (516) 992-3274
Principal: Mr. Michael DeBlasio





Dear Park Avenue Families,

It is with the greatest of pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to Park Avenue School. As principal, I have the honor of leading our fantastic teachers, students, and school community through an amazing educational journey. We are dedicated to providing your children with a safe and nurturing environment where they feel valued and confident to expand their horizons. By fostering the development of the whole child, our students acquire the skill set to become productive, compassionate, and educated leaders of tomorrow. Our focus is to guide your children as they navigate through a rigorous curriculum, develop strong character, and surpass our high expectations.

The partnership between teachers, parents, and staff provides our young scholars with educational experiences that last a lifetime. By adhering to a growth mindset, we here at Park Avenue strive to be our best selves by working through challenges, helping others, and exuding the willingness to learn new and exciting things. It is through our teachers’ powerful instructional practices that Park Avenue students receive an education that focuses on academic, social, and emotional growth. This whole-child approach ensures that your children develop strong foundational skills that they build their successes upon.

Our district’s mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion. Together, we will carry out this mission and reach even higher levels of success.

The love and passion for learning is what makes Park Avenue School an incredibly special place. I am looking forward to a fantastic year! Please feel free to contact me as I am readily available to work with you and answer any questions that you may have.


Michael DeBlasio


New North Bellmore Administrators Embrace District’s Values

Michael DeBlasio and Daniel Madden, Principal and Assistant Principal thumbnail188002
principal thumbnail188003
assistant principal thumbnail188004
Two new administrators have joined the leadership team of the North Bellmore School District, one from a western Nassau County school district and the other from the west coast of the United States. As of July 1, Michael DeBlasio is the new principal of Park Avenue Elementary School and Daniel Madden is the new assistant principal of Saw Mill Road Elementary School.

Mr. DeBlasio has six years of experience as an assistant principal, most recently at Forest Road School in Valley Stream District 30 which, like Park Avenue, serves kindergarten through sixth grade. He was a special education teacher for 10 years in District 26 in Queens, where he also began his administrative career. Mr. DeBlasio holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education, both from Molloy College, and school building and district leadership certificates from the College of St. Rose.

As principal, he looks forward to fostering wonderful relationships with the school community and the North Bellmore School District. Mr. DeBlasio said he also strives to continue Park Avenue’s strong traditions in creating an atmosphere of excitement, passion and a love for education while leading students to even higher levels of success.

“I hope to bring a sense of focus in capitalizing on our teachers’ powerful instructional practices where teaching the whole child is a priority,” he said. “I also hope to bring an outlook that success is found in creating young scholars that take pride in their work and obtain the skill set to become productive, compassionate and educated leaders.”

Mr. Madden returns to Long Island after three years as an educator in California. A native of neighboring East Meadow, he began his career as a substitute teacher in North Bellmore, before becoming a science teacher at Park Place Middle School in Brooklyn. That was followed by a six-year stint at the Smith School in Manhattan as a sixth grade science teacher, learning specialist and assistant head of school.

In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Mr. Madden was the director of student life and support (grades K-8) and the dean of the lower school (grades K-4) at the Woodland School. He hold a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Binghamton University, a master’s degree in elementary education and middle childhood science education from Hofstra University, a certificate in teacher of students with disabilities from Brooklyn College, a certificate in educational leadership from St. John’s University and a certificate in advanced educational leadership from Harvard University.

Mr. Madden said he is elated for the opportunity to join the North Bellmore community, and to work alongside Saw Mill Road Elementary Principal Jeffrey Rosof.

“The values of integrity, compassion and courage, that are embraced and shared by the North Bellmore community, have inspired my practice as an educator and school leader,” Mr. Madden said. “I believe it is a privilege to arrive at this moment, where I will be able to support the community as we instill those values in our students and to partner with families, faculty and Mr. Rosof in bolstering those strengths of character.”

Students Honor a Hero and Help Their Health

Students and Staff Running for the Mini-Murph Challenge thumbnail187502

Fifth graders got a full workout as they participated in the Mini-Murph Challenge at Park Avenue Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District on May 27.

The event was held in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Patchogue native and Navy SEAL who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. Teachers said that they wanted to honor a Long Island hero while also showing students how to live healthy and fit lifestyles.

Taking advantage of a warm and sunny day, activities were held outside. Students from Melissa Danowski’s and Jenna Stack’s classes participated in a kids version of the CrossFit Hero Workout, known as the Mini-Murph. They began with a run, then did 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups and 150 air squats before ending with another run.

To honor the courage and sacrifice of all men and women from the Armed Forces who have given their lives, the event was held just prior to Memorial Day. Students were selected to carry American flags during each run, which consisted of three laps around the perimeter of the school. To be considered as a flag bearer, they had to submit a short essay describing the qualities they have that embody Michael Murphy.

All students were provided with T-shirts for the event. Families could also make a donation to the Michael P. Murphy Scholarship Fund.

North Bellmore Administrators Retire After Long, Successful Careers

Park Avenue Elementary School Principal Eileen Speidel Headshot thumbnail187500
Park Avenue Elementary School Principal Eileen Speidel Headshot thumbnail187501
With a combined 41 years of administrative leadership in the North Bellmore School District, Deputy Superintendent Carol Eskew and Park Avenue Elementary School Principal Eileen Speidel will leave behind a legacy defined by unsurpassable and unwavering devotion to the students and the community they served.

Ms. Eskew’s professional career is varied and highly diverse. She came to the district 27 years ago after a remarkable and extremely successful stint in United States Navy where she supported the support services Division during the Vietnam War. After that, Ms. Eskew took her keen financial talents to the banking industry where she rose to the illustrious position of senior vice president. Immediately upon embarking in her new position as a psychologist at John G. Dinkelmeyer and Park Avenue schools, she was recognized for her wisdom, intelligence and student-driven decision-making. Doing what is in the best interest of students had defined Ms. Eskew’s work for decades.

Fortunately, over the years, Ms. Eskew worked as a psychologist at four of the district’s six buildings. She became a respected mentor to district special education teams and a respected colleague of teachers and administrators. It was clearly the right selection when she was named director of special education. Her work in building and expanding the district’s special education offerings took flight immediately upon her taking on her new role. Ms. Eskew served 13 years as the director of special education before being named deputy superintendent. As deputy superintendent, Ms. Eskew maintained her role as director of special education and assumed oversight of the district’s human resources department. In addition, she has been a steadfast leader of the nursing department and oversees the psychology and social work departments.

Superintendent Marie Testa and the Board of Education credit Ms. Eskew with the myriad enhancements to the special education program that have been implemented during her tenure. Under her direction, the co-teaching model began with two classes at Saw Mill Road Elementary School and was eventually expanded to every school. The district was one of the first to have a certified behavioral specialist and an assistive technology evaluator on staff. Thanks to Ms. Eskew’s vision and her hiring of extraordinarily talented teachers, North Bellmore students in out-of-district placements were brought back to district to be educated.

Over the years, Ms. Eskew has cultivated strong relationships with the families she serves and commented that it is extremely important to have the trust of parents in order to work collaboratively to meet the needs of students. Ms. Eskew is proud to have been part of an administrative team that is collaborative, thoughtful and fully committed to the success of the district’s special education programs and services and of all the children North Bellmore serves.

“We are team in every way in North Bellmore and this team has put the district in a very good place for the future,” she said.

Ms. Speidel retires after 14 years at Park Avenue and, like Ms. Eskew, said that successful leadership comes from teamwork. Many initiatives have been spearheaded by school committees. The Shared Decision Making Committee, a team that includes Ms. Speidel, teachers and parents, created the school logo and the Parker Panda school mascot while the Scholars Pledge and Parker Paw program originated with the school-based Character Education Committee. The school has also adopted “grit” as its motto to encourage students to adopt a never-give-up attitude.

“So much of what you do as a principal is what you do as a team,” Ms. Speidel said. “All of the brilliant minds come together to bring these ideas to fruition. We’ve created so much as a school community.”

With support from the PTA, an annual dance residency was created in which students spend two weeks working with teachers from professional dance schools, before putting on a final performance for their families. She also worked with several Boy Scouts to complete community service projects at the school for their Eagle rank.

For the last 11 years, Ms. Speidel has intentionally and thoughtfully selected books containing important, poignant messages which connect to the lives of the students in ways that support academic, social and emotional growth. Ms. Speidel provided each teacher with a copy of the book as well as a letter from her outlining essential discussion ideas. The month of June marks Ms. Speidel’s 110th and final book of the month.

Ms. Testa commented, “Ms. Speidel’s principal’s book of the month set the very foundation upon which the kind, respectful, growth-oriented culture of Park Avenue was built. To say that she inspired a love of reading among her students and faculty and that her selections were awe inspiring, meaningful and valuable would be an understatement. Ms. Speidel’s legacy will forever live through the invaluable life lessons the children learned over these years.”

Ms. Speidel is a principal of students. She is out at recess, in classrooms, greeting students and arrival, wishing them well as they dismiss and is “seen along the way,” at all other times throughout the day. Ms. Speidel prides herself on knowing every student by name, and knows that they appreciate it when she greets them by name, whether it is at morning arrival or when passing them in hall. During her first year, she said she memorized every name by January, and from there it was just a matter of learning the kindergartners and other new students every year. Prior to the pandemic, she hosted monthly lunches for students celebrating their birthdays, another way of making a personal connection with students.

In 2019, Ms. Speidel, was one of 15 Long Island educators to receive the Administrator of the Year award from the Council of Administrators and Supervisors. This extraordinary honor was well-deserved and was celebrated by all who had the privilege of observing Ms. Speidel lead.

“Ms. Speidel is a leader among leaders, a humble human being and a devoted colleague,” Ms. Testa said. “For 14 years, she placed students, faculty and staff first in all decision-making, in every aspect of the programs she oversaw and in every work and action she took as principal of Park Avenue.”

Prior to coming to North Bellmore, Ms. Speidel worked as a teacher and assistant principal in Queens for sixteen years where she left an indelible mark and a legacy of excellence. Ms. Speidel applied to a few principal jobs on Long Island, and the day she sent her application to the North Bellmore, she received a sign. While having a slice of pizza and a soda, she noticed a message inside the soda bottle cap, “Important news about your job will come soon.” Not long after, she was hired to lead Park Avenue.

“Obviously that news did come and my journey at Park Avenue School soon began,” Ms. Speidel said. “It really was the opportunity of a lifetime. Being the principal at Park Avenue has truly been the highlight of my career.”

Ms. Testa remembers the day Ms. Speidel was interviewed, “I knew during the interview that Ms. Speidel was the one…I knew that she would be a once in a lifetime principal!”

Virtual Backpack

No backpack items are currently available.

Upcoming EventsMark Your CalendarsNo Upcoming Events