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District Names New Assistant Superintendent & Odyssey Principal

The Greece Central School District Board of Education recently approved the appointment of Dr. Michael Zaffuts as Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement and Educational Services and Dr. Jeffrey Henley as Principal of Odyssey Academy.

Dr. Michael Zaffuts
Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement and Educational Services

The 16-year veteran educator comes to Greece from the Hilton Central School District where he has worked since 2011 and currently serves as Learning Through Technology Director. Before that, Zaffuts was an assistant principal at Hilton High School and started his career as a social studies teacher in the Rochester City School District.

Greece Superintendent Kathleen Graupman said Zaffuts was selected for his passion, skill, and vision.

“Dr. Zaffuts was selected because of his rich understanding and work with systems thinking as well as his depth of knowledge related to equity and culturally responsive education,” she said. “Mike brings balance to our team in terms of background, training, and experience.  He has successful leadership experience and I am sure that he will be a great fit.”

Zaffuts will oversee a variety of areas including special education, student support services, Phoenix Academy (the district’s alternative school), the Professional Learning Center, and the district’s mental health support team. He said he is looking forward to his new role.

“I am thrilled and honored to accept this position and I understand the critical nature of the work,” Zaffuts said. “I am most eager to join the cultural journey that Greece Central has embarked on with regard to equity, social-emotional learning, Response to Intervention, and culturally responsive pedagogy. This commitment is tremendously important to all students and I’m looking forward to partnering with Greece stakeholders to ensure we’re doing whatever we can to strengthen that culture in the district.”

Zaffuts holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo, a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study in education administration from SUNY Brockport, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Rochester. He recently completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego.

A lifelong learner and educator, Zaffuts has served on numerous committees and improvement teams. He has experience in long-range planning, budgeting, curriculum writing, and technology integration, as well as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a variety of experiences in my career, including teaching and leading in a large urban setting and serving as a school administrator and instructional director in a suburban setting,” Zaffuts said. “These responsibilities provided the opportunity to collaborate with a breadth of wonderful people across contexts and resulted in some really unique and innovative student and staff experiences. I will make it a priority to listen carefully for opportunities where my background might provide a fresh perspective and augment the wide variety of challenging yet necessary work taking place in Greece.”

Zaffuts begins his new role with the Greece Central School District on December 10.

Dr. Jeffrey Henley
Principal of Odyssey Academy

Henley is a face familiar to the Odyssey community, having served as acting principal since the beginning of the school year. Prior to that, he was an assistant principal at Odyssey Academy and previously worked in the district as both the coordinator of social studies and the executive director of instructional technology and strategic initiatives. Henley started his educational career as a history teacher working in both the Penfield and Manchester-Shortsville school districts.

Assistant Superintendent Kathryn Colicchio said Henley was selected to permanently fill the role of principal because he is a proven leader with a vision for success.

“Dr. Henley has a genuine warmth about him that immediately puts people at ease,” she said. “We are excited to have him move into the role as the principal where he will apply his strong relational skills with his instructional expertise to a school community for which he cares deeply.”

Henley said he is excited to lead Odyssey, which he calls like a second family, and is committed to ensuring that teachers and students are safe and supported. His initial focus is on relationship building and fostering trust through transparent, open communication.

“It’s those relationships that will help me carry Odyssey forward as we re-establish our focus on strong instructional practice in the classroom,” Henley said.

As principal, he wants to improve rigor and hold all students to high standards. Programs like AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Henley believes, will help close the achievement gap.

“I want all Odyssey classrooms to reflect what Greece is – a diverse district where all students can achieve,” Henley said.

He began in his new roll November 14.