Rome Free Academy grad Mazzaferro is new Camden athletic director
CAMDEN — For Josh Mazzaferro, the Camden school district’s solid culture surrounding athletics and academics stands out.
Those are reasons why the 27-year-old Mazzaferro is excited about his new role as Camden’s athletic director. He begins his position July 1.
“I know it is a district that puts students first,” said Mazzaferro, a 2012 Rome Free Academy graduate who played varsity baseball and soccer at the school. “Before I interviewed that was a point that was brought up to me. It is a great district. I know they already have a strong existing culture surrounding sports, athletics, health and physical education. I know the administrators there have done a good job of creating all of those things. That was something I wanted to be part of.”
Mazzaferro previously taught for four years in the Poland Central School District and is finishing his first year as a phys ed teacher at Rome’s Bellamy Elementary School.
He said the goal since he entered education a few years ago was becoming an athletic director. With Stephen Komanecky departing the role he’s had since July 2020, Mazzaferro becomes one of the younger athletic directors in Section III.
Mazzaferro said he’s excited about the leadership opportunity with Camden, which is a member of the Tri-Valley League. According to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Camden had 504 high school students at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, which makes it the fifth-largest school district in the Mohawk Valley area.
“I’m excited that I’m able to take advantage of the opportunity this early on in my career,” said Mazzaferro, who has his master’s degree from SUNY Brockport. “I foresee myself being an athletic director until retirement. Life takes you different places, you never know where you’re going to end up. I’m a loyal person and my loyalty lies with Camden. I’m excited to be there as long as the opportunity presents itself.”
He sees being in his late 20s as an advantage in the role.
“I think that’s a huge benefit that I bring: Being able to relate to the kids and a lot of the situations and the things they’re dealing with,” Mazzaferro said. “I look forward to being a resource to the kids and being able to relate to them on a personal and professional level.”
While he doesn’t know many people within the Camden district, he’s familiar with assistant superintendent Jason Evangelist as well as Aaron Fiorini, the current middle school assistant principal and former Camden athletic director. Both are Rome natives.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know both of them better,” Mazzaferro said. “(Fiorini) is somebody who I have been bouncing ideas off of. He’s serving as a mentor to me. I look forward to continuing that mentorship. With the experience (Fiorini) has and as good of a job he did while he was (Camden’s AD), I look forward to utilizing him as much as possible and working with him. I’ve been doing so over the last couple weeks. I’m sure the relationship will continue to grow as I progress in the role.”
Mazzaferro said he appreciates past mentors, coaches and teachers as well as his friends and parents for providing him with motivation and the tools he’s “utilized along the way that have helped get me to this point professionally.”
“Without them, I don’t think I’d be where I am,” he said. “I copy and pasted a lot of hings from a lot of people to help kind of create my own style. I owe a lot to those people.”
He’s looking forward to the opportunity to build relationships with people in Camden.
“The biggest goal is to be as visible as possible and build the relationships with the students and the community,” he said. “My goal is to have a positive relationship with as many stakeholders as possible and leave a lasting impression. I want to be someone they’re proud of and someone that they know is doing in the best interest of the students and everybody involved in the district.”
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