Dominique Salice, a 2003 graduate, was recently promoted to a prominent position as senior campaigns and elections specialist at the National Educational Association. Based out of the NEA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, Salice’s new job entails applying political campaign expertise to support the organization’s strategic objective to focus the energy and resources of its 3 million members toward great public schools for every student.
“I will be working with members across the nation to identify opportunities for action around what most effects educators and their students,” said Salice. “I hope to raise the voices of educators, to give them leadership over what goes on in the classroom and the opportunity to humanize education, to consider the whole child without the fear of standardized test results, and to have access to professional development to do so,” she said. “I believe with all my heart that without a strong public education system, we will not see progress in our country – social, economic or otherwise.”
Following her graduation from East Islip, Salice attended SUNY Purchase where she earned a degree in political science with a minor in economics. She worked as a regional field director for the Human Rights Campaign’s work for marriage equality in New York before taking a state director position at the Service Employees International Union Wisconsin State Council.
She cited three of her mentors at East Islip – Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer; history teacher Nicholas Bilotti, now the school’s assistant principal; and English teacher Greg Kguloian – as inspirations in helping her overcome her difficulties with standardized testing.
“I thank them for seeing students as people, for openly caring about us, and showing that they had faith in us and our abilities,” Salice said. “Eleven years later, they’re still influencing a student who had no confidence in her mind and academic abilities, to be strong. I hope I get to have a hand in giving more teachers the freedom and security to be like them.”
“It makes me so proud to think of Dominique interacting with all of these politicians for the wellbeing of our students and teachers,” said Malinowitzer. “She has come a long way since high school and I knew she would be a success story.”