Bengal Tales – David Gorlewski

David Gorlewski, '72,'74

Class Year 1972 - B.S.; 1974 - M.S.
Major Secondary English Education

Current Occupation Recently Retired

What is one of your fondest memories of Buffalo State?         
I always thought the campus was beautiful - especially the quad area behind Rockwell Hall between Ketchum Hall and Bacon Hall during the fall semester.

Were you involved with any on-campus organizations as a student?
I played on the freshman baseball team in 1968 and I played intramural basketball and touch football.

How did graduating from Buffalo State shape your future?
My exposure to the the incredible lectures from my instructors made me rethink old ideas and form new ones. While I was at Buffalo State, the war in Vietnam had become a focal point of discussion and protest. I recall the college having a Vietnam Moratorium Day (I think it was in the spring, '68 semester) in which professors were asked to discuss the war in their classes. That was the first time that I took a keen interest in a political protest movement. That same spring, Reverend Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated. These were defining moments in my life and in the lives of my classmates; and it was through the lens of Buffalo State that I had those experiences.

What accomplishments have you achieved since graduating from Buffalo State?
Professionally, I was a high school English teacher in the West Seneca Central School District for 14 years. Later, I became a certified administrator and served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Maryvale School District (Cheektowaga, NY) and the Sweet Home School District (Amherst, NY); and assistant superintendent of personnel in the Orchard Park School District (Orchard Park, NY).

I earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University at Buffalo in 2000. My dissertation was a study of the impact New York State education reform initiatives had on local school districts.

Later, I secured two tenure track positions in higher education: At D'Youville College where I taught masters level courses in the School of Education; and at the State University of New York at New Paltz where I taught in the educational leadership program. I also served as the department chair at each college.

Since entering higher education in 2004, I co-authored two books which center on developing professional dispositions in teachers and in school administrators, co-edited two others; and wrote several peer reviewed articles and book chapters on issues related to school reform.

Do you have any advice for current students trying to achieve success after graduation?
Yes. I believe that we should continually challenge ourselves by getting out of our comfort zone. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Every experience in life prepares you for the next one; you just don't ever know what the next one is going to be." As a young teacher, I was deeply involved in teacher union activities. Though I didn't know it at the time, THAT experience helped me immensely when I became a school administrator. Then, when I became a college department chair, my K-12 administrative experience was critical in helping me succeed in that position. So, in short, don't be afraid to "put yourself out there."

If you're a Buffalo State graduate and would like to be considered for a future Bengal Tales alumni profile, please complete this form.

Originally posted: March 2017