After 32 Years, LoCicero Departs LHS


LoCicero celebrating 100 career wins. Courtesy of the Owl Athletics Instagram @owl_athletics

Since 1991, Stephen LoCicero, or “Lo” as he is more commonly known by students and staff, has been a fixture at LHS. An educator and coach who has overseen over 5,000 students and athletes in his time, LoCicero has taught nearly every history course, including 25 years as an AP and honors teacher, as well as coaching lacrosse, golf, girls’ basketball, and football. He is retiring currently with the second-most number of years as part of the LHS staff compared to language teacher Leonard Bruno and as the second winningest varsity head coach in both football and girls’ basketball. LoCicero has also served for ten years as the director of Lynbrook’s adult education program, engendering knowledge into groups of lifetime learners. He has taught all four of his children in addition to a staggering number of current LHS staff and their children. In addition to LoCicero’s incredible list of achievements, he retains a beaming, outgoing, and warm presence that echoes throughout the halls. There is no doubt underclassmen are saddened to know they will never get to have him as their APUSH teacher.

Since being hired by then-Superintendent William Metkiff and former-LHS Principal Dr. Santo Barbarino, LoCicero has continuously instructed as well as guided, supported, and mentored his students. It is no surprise then that his favorite part of teaching is the students, whom he motivates to become their best selves as they explore who they are. He thought of teaching as a career choice while a student himself, with the influence from his parents who were both teachers and educators in his hometown of Bayport. However, he initially considered two different paths altogether: “I actually did not know [that I would choose teaching] … I thought of law school or Wall Street after graduating from Marist College with a BA in U.S. History,” LoCicero said. “But after student teaching with my favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Blank, I knew it was a perfect fit,” he added.

Michael Kunz

He also recalls the many changes the school has seen since he started here. “When I got to Lynbrook, there were no computers and no cell phones, except a small MAC lab,” he said. Even today, with more and more schoolwork taking place on tablets, most of LoCicero’s lessons are on paper, usually readings that will be discussed or charts that will be filled to explore his classes’ material. Some of his favorite lessons are those focused on the Founding Fathers, presidents, economics, the Greatest Generation, and the Great Depression through World War II.

Junior Jasmine Ostroff, a member of LoCicero’s last class of students, has experienced these lessons firsthand and admires his way of making course content interesting with stories. “Social studies was never my best subject or the most interesting to me, but Lo made class interesting, and it helped me learn everything easier,” she said. Ostroff believes she will miss these stories most of all, which gave her energy to focus at the end of a long day. She also feels she has learned how to better adapt to situations from LoCicero. “Instead of doing nothing whenever a lesson wasn’t working out, he would change it for us to be more effective. [He taught us that] instead of getting stressed about something that isn’t working, take a different approach.” 

Likewise, senior Alyssa Inserra greatly enjoyed LoCicero’s stories. A history nerd at heart, she feels they connected her more closely to the course material, whether they were from his own life or the lives of others. “It just made the class very interesting and fun,” Inserra said. “Aside from learning that history is an awesome subject, I also learned to take one day at a time and not stress as much. Mr. LoCicero was big on not being stressed about the things that we had to get done…I think his advice to go with the flow was very helpful.” For Inserra, his enthusiasm towards history will be what she misses most, in addition to his sense of humor and storytelling habits. She even still has a pocket copy of the Constitution LoCicero gave her: “So if I ever get in a situation where I need to know my rights, I have them on standby,” she joked.

Courtesy of the girls’ varsity basketball team Instagram @lbkgirlsbball

Senior Kaelynn O’Brien has spent the past four years practicing her skills on the basketball court with LoCicero as her coach. O’Brien says she loved how fun and reasonable LoCicero was, never too harsh on her or her teammates and always trying to make everything more enjoyable. “…[Because of this,] I never dreaded any practice with him,” said O’Brien. She also noted the numerous lessons LoCicero has taught her over the years, specifically his “The Man in the Glass” speech. “He’s taught me to never look in your rearview mirror, and always look at what’s in front of you,” O’Brien said. She will miss the small contributions LoCicero made to her team the most, like his early morning practices and bagel breakfasts in addition to his pregame pump-up speeches and positive attitude. 

Principal Matthew Sarosy admires the time and dedication LoCicero has invested into LHS and its students: “I’ve known Mr. LoCicero for almost 20 years and I’ve always been inspired by his ability to make people feel welcomed,” he said. “He has built up our AP US History course to have over 100 students in it annually, which I’m incredibly proud of. He has a coach’s mentality both on the court and in the classroom. Kids love being around him.”

LoCicero’s colleagues, fellow social studies teachers John Cornicello and David Rabinowitz, have their fair share of memories and lessons they have learned from him. A former student of LoCicero, Cornicello commented on how he “always made learning fun” and reminded him to always be there to educate students first. Cornicello also loved how LoCicero was not afraid to try new lessons, whether that be gallery walks or newspapers. “He embraced change, and I know I am a better teacher because of it. I will miss hearing him ranting and raving from the room next to me; he teaches with such passion that it is infectious,” Cornicello said. Rabinowitz appreciates how LoCicero always treated him as an equal, even when he was just hired and LoCicero was the senior member of the history department. Similar to Cornicello, Rabinowitz has learned from LoCicero to put students first and encourage learning in the classroom. He will miss LoCicero for many reasons, one of which is for his undying energy: “One thing is for certain…Lo is never boring,” said Rabinowitz. “He can be a lot of fun to be around. I wish him all the best and thank him for his positive impact on all of us and LHS.”

Courtesy of Stephen LoCicero

So, what is next for LoCicero? “A new career in sports photography, golfing. and traveling around the United States,” he said. He also offers his successor, Michael King, some time-tested advice: “Be understanding and know your material. Be a student and never stop learning.” Above most of all, LoCicero is grateful for all the experiences and opportunities the Lynbrook community has provided him with, as a resident, teacher, and coach. “I have cherished my role as an educator in the Lynbrook school system for the last 32 years.”