In MemoriamCelebrating the Life of John Acompore
A native New Yorker, John Acompore’s early years of schooling were in The Bronx. There, John attended PS 66, Herman Ridder Junior High School (98) and Evander Childs High School. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College, with a major in French and minors in Russian and Education. John was a thespian at heart, however, and this pursuit was nurtured during his college years with the Hunter College Drama Productions. He became a master junior high school teacher of foreign languages and began to demonstrate his strong administrative and leadership skills. A Masters of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Supervision at New York University would lead the way to his extraordinary career in education.
John’s contribution to the bilingual education community is renowned. His understanding of the instructional needs and effective practices for second-language learners, coupled with his administrative skills, made him an invaluable resource in the various positions he held over his career of thirty-four years with the NYC Department of Education. Through his stalwart advocacy and his encyclopedic knowledge of the voluminous regulations and mandates governing bilingual education, John became a pillar of the bilingual education movement.
John was an indefatigable supporter of Bilingual and ESL education. During his nine years as Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Bilingual Education, he provided technical assistance and professional development to NYC districts and schools in the area of program development and guidance on implementation. He will always be remembered for his expertise in policies and laws affecting the education of English Language Learners (ELLs). His knowledge regarding federal, state and local ELL regulations, and his skills as a presenter enhanced his audiences understanding and implementation of all instructional programs necessary to meet the needs of those targeted populations. Additionally, he supported ELL practitioners and advocates arming them with the necessary information they needed to tackle difficult adversaries in their immediate communities. He was a master at easing the feeling of isolation felt by ELL advocates in the field of bilingual education.
At the Chancellor’s request, he acted as a District Trustee in Community School District 12 (1990) and Community School District 17 (1996-98). During his tenure, John received several awards, including the 1993 Distinguished Educator Award from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the NYSABE 1998 Gladys Correa Memorial Award, in recognition and appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the field of Bilingual Education.
John cultivated friendships that lasted a lifetime, beginning with his college fraternity brothers, with his educational colleagues, his love for his Brooklyn community and, most importantly, with those he held in esteem as family. He was charismatic, respected, trusted, and possessed an unmatched wit that guaranteed laughter and enjoyment at every encounter. John Acompore was a uniquely accomplished individual. He will be greatly missed and long cherished.