Member Spotlight: Neil DeLuca

Chelsey Martinez's picture

We want to share good news about education! MASSP is turning the spotlight on members who are making an impact in their school, district and community. Spotlighted members exemplify the mission of the MASSP: To advance learning through educational leadership.

Neil DeLuca, High School Principal, Rochester High School

How long have you worked in education?
15 years

How long have you been an administrator?
3 years

Give us a few personal details.
Married to my wonderful wife Terri for 11 years and have two beautiful children, Giuliana 3 and Angelo 6. Love everything about high school culture and family.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Time: Leading a comprehensive high school can be challenging as there simply is not enough hours in a day to accomplish all your intended goals for one school day. From instructional rounds to building culture, you find yourself running out of time during the day. To cope with this, it is very important not to stretch yourself too thin on your calendar. Complete your short term goals with fidelity and delegate to the team that surrounds you. This includes your administration team and teachers.

What is most rewarding about your job?
School culture trumps everything. I am extremely fortunate to have taken over a school that was strong in school culture, pride, and commitment to achievement. When students and staff love their environment; culture only fosters a sustainable and welcoming instructional environment for all stakeholders.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
As a school, all stakeholders felt a need to focus on our SAT results. The learning community of Rochester High School made it an instructional goal, but more important a cultural focus that we will be SAT ready. This led to an increase in our overall SAT score of 32 points moving from 1079 to 1111 in one academic year.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Seek and surround yourself with stakeholders in your school culture that are seeking to advance the overall school community. Make yourself accessible to staff, parents, and students during and after the school day, as you create your learning culture with them.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
The Rochester Community Schools Board of Education approved a strategic planning process that not only guided our district in strengthening its curriculum, instruction, assessment and global awareness, but also guided our efforts to continue to ensure a safe, secure, flexible and adaptable learning environment for our students. Rochester High School just underwent a massive renovation project entailing the renovation of our instructional spaces, building infrastructure, and technology. A new addition to our instructional spaces are our six collaboration areas and interactive flat panel displays in every classroom. Teachers have the availability to teach in a collaborative and professional environment by taking their classes to our new collaborative learning spaces, equipped with new technology and enhanced seating. If you have the chance to visit Rochester High School, you will notice student inquire, dialogue, and real world experiences in the classroom, utilizing our new instructional resources and learning spaces. Also, our school wide professional development for the school year will focus on teachers enhancing their instruction around their newly acquired classroom technology and collaborative spaces.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
The Ideal Team Player – Patrick Lencioni. In the book, Lencioni describes the ideal team player as Humble, Hungry, and Smart. If you are looking to bring aboard a new member to you administrative team and or instructional staff, this is a for sure read prior to interviewing.

Do you or someone you know deserve the spotlight, please fill out this Google Form. To read about other MASSP members in the Spotlight, please visit

Questions? Please contact Chelsey Martinez at