A native of North Buffalo, Joseph Salvatore Sperrazza was a dedicated educator who spent much of his career not only teaching students, but also mentoring teachers so they would succeed both professionally and personally. Inspired by Robert F. Kennedy, Mr. Sperrazza volunteered for the Peace Corps after completing his undergraduate degree and spent two life-changing years in the Philippines educating and assisting teachers in Filipino schools.
When he returned to Buffalo in 1969, he enrolled at Buffalo State College to continue his own education, completing his Master’s degree in Secondary Education: English in 1974 and receiving a Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Administration and Supervision in 1987. A consummate professional, he taught at Bennett High School, Southside Junior High and the Futures Academy, was an assistant principal at School No. 38 and at the Academic Challenge School, and worked in the Buffalo Board of Education before his untimely death in 2003.
Throughout his career, Mr. Sperrazza focused on helping teachers help children. He believed strongly in the power of service and worked tirelessly to ensure that people came first.
His family has sponsored this scholarship in his memory. Students who are interested in teaching, a strong record of academic achievement and a commitment to community and/or public service are eligible to apply.