Dr. J. Francis Manning, Ed.D.(Jody) is a seasoned school leader with over 30+ years of experience. He served as a district and school superintendent, business administrator, building administrator, and teacher in various districts. He has had the honor and privilege of working directly for New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and her predecessor, John King, Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Education.
Jody earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from the State University at Buffalo; his Master of Education from Syracuse University; a Certificate of Advanced Study from the State University at Cortland, a Master of Business Administration from Le Moyne College, and a doctoral degree in Executive Leadership at St. John Fisher College.
Jody’s accolades include an induction to The National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT). NCERT is an association of invited superintendents for a distinguished group of education-related corporate members. Jody was also the New York State Association for Women in Administration (NYSAWA) recipient of The Maxine Giacobbe Award. The award recognizes exceptional work with children from diverse populations, including children of color, to reduce gender inequalities and promote outstanding achievement.
Jody has been involved with the STEAM school since its inception. He finds it an honor and privileged to be a leader for Central New York’s first Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) High School, which is progressing in its development, thanks to continuing curriculum planning shaped by local community members and businesses. The school aims to become a local “employability incubator,” creating pathways for students to study areas of professional interest that will ultimately prepare them with the skills needed for employment upon graduation. The school will welcome students from the City of Syracuse, as well as from surrounding suburban districts.
Superintendent Anthony Q. Davis has dedicated his professional career to the field of education. He started his work with the Syracuse City School District in 1986 as a Teaching Assistant and then as aThis is a photo of Interim Superintendent Anthony Q. Davis. Special Education teacher before ultimately entering school administration in 1996 as an Administrative Intern at Henninger High School.
In 1997, Mr. Davis accepted a leadership role in the Liverpool Central School District, where he served for almost 20 years. In that time, he provided a safe and secure educational environment along with a strong academic program for the district’s 2,300 students. He focused on empowering students through student forums; he worked with the Counseling Department to develop practices, procedures and communication tools that best served students and families; and he discovered new ways to provide students with the necessary skills to truly be college and career ready.
In 2016, Mr. Davis returned to the Syracuse City School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools. In that role, he oversaw 6 SCSD high schools, 6 SCSD middle schools, 24 Career and Technical Education programs, 4 alternative programs, 3 K-12 Departments, 2 Adult Education programs, all SCSD athletics, and more. During that time, he also provided leadership training to aspiring administrators in the Syracuse City School District.
Mr. Davis holds a permanent certification as a School District Administrator, as well as a Certificate of Completion from SUNY Oswego’s New York State Superintendent Development Program; a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Syracuse University; a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies from SUNY Albany; and an Associate in Occupational Studies in Computer Programming from the Bryant and Stratton Business Institute.
In addition to his professional roles, Mr. Davis is also an active community leader. He serves as a Board Member for Light of Syracuse, a non-profit organization designed to enhance the quality of life for underserved communities in the City of Syracuse. He also serves as a Board Member for the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, focusing on transportation needs throughout Syracuse; as a Board of Director member for St. Joseph’s School of Nursing; and as a Governing Board Member of VOICES for Youth, a newly-formed non-profit organization devoted to improving the community. Previously, he served as a Board of Director member of the Southwest Community Center, and as a Co-Founder of Brother to Brother, a youth outreach program designed to pair successful and respected members of the community with troubled youth.
Jeremy Belfield was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools for LaFayette Central School District effective July 1, 2017. The LaFayette Central School District is a rural district serving 794 students from portions of the towns of LaFayette, Onondaga, Fabius, and Tully. LaFayette CSD has the privilege of serving students from the Onondaga Nation and operates the Onondaga Nation School (grades PK-8). The Onondaga Nation School is a public school exclusively for Indigenous students and provides instruction in Onondaga language and culture. In addition to the Onondaga Nation School, LaFayette Central School District operates Grimshaw Elementary (grades PK-6), LaFayette Jr/Sr High School (grades 7-12), and LaFayette Big Picture School (grades 9-12).
As Superintendent of Schools, Jeremy Belfield works with the board of education, school leaders, staff members, and community partners to implement a strategic plan focused on addressing the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students. The district boasts a strong 94% graduation rate, provides sixteen college credit courses, offers a scholarship program with Onondaga Community College allowing graduates to attend community college tuition free, and provides job embedded internships for students in the LaFayette Big Picture School. Jeremy also works in partnership with the board of education and community stakeholders to oversee the capital and fiscal needs of the school district. During Jeremy’s time as Superintendent, LaFayette has completed capital projects totaling $8.5M with a current project underway totaling $8.6M. Capital projects have focused on addressing critical infrastructure and programming needs. The district operating budget for Grimshaw Elementary, LaFayette Jr/Sr High School, and LaFayette Big Picture School totals $21,389,579. Jeremy works with Onondaga Nation leaders, the school principal, and state officials to oversee the operating budget for the Onondaga Nation School which totals $7,002,418. Jeremy works closely with Onondaga Nation leaders to advocate for the educational, cultural, and language needs of Indigenous students. Jeremy was successful in gaining support from elected officials in securing additional funding to address the facility needs at the Onondaga Nation School, which is a state-owned building, along with additional universal pre-kindergarten funding for Grimshaw Elementary.
Prior to working as the Superintendent of Schools for LaFayette, Jeremy Belfield served as the Assistant Superintendent for Management Services (2016-2017), Director of Personnel (2012-2016), and Director of Pupil Services (2010-2012) for Mexico Central School District. Prior to working in Mexico CSD, Jeremy worked in the Fulton City School District Alternative Education Program (2008-2010) and served as the summer school principal for students with disabilities (2008-2010). Jeremy was an elementary school teacher at Lanigan Elementary where he taught 5th grade and served as an Academic Intervention Services teacher for mathematics. Jeremy holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education along with a Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, and Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership all from SUNY Oswego. Jeremy is the proud father of twin daughters Lillian and Emma Belfield and has been married to his wife Laura for 20 years. She is also in education and works as a social studies teacher at the Mexico Middle School.
Our moderator is Dr. Reginald T. Braggs, Director, Central NY Partnerships and Enrollment, SUNY Oswego. He is located at SUNY Oswego’s Syracuse Campus in Downtown @ Clinton Square. Prior to serving in this role at SUNY Oswego Reg served SUNY Oswego as both the director of its Syracuse Campus and later as the interim Executive to the President and Affirmative Action Officer at the main campus. Prior to joining SUNY Oswego in March 2020, Reg has worked for a number of years in higher education as an administrator and faculty member teaching classes in university business schools nationally and internationally as well as serving his country as a U.S. naval officer and diplomat.
Immediately before arriving in Syracuse in March 2020, Reg was working at the American University of Nigeria as assistant vice president for foundation programs, leading the Chibok Girls Education Initiative. The Initiative he designed, organized, implemented, and led was a whole student, holistic approach to education by integrating social, emotional, mental and physical health, spiritual, and leadership development which purposed to help the Chibok girls who had been kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram cope with their trauma while simultaneously assisting them to achieve their goals to matriculate into bachelor degree programs. Additionally, as an administrator, he has served as a vice president of student affairs, assistant dean of a school of business, director of an entrepreneurship center, and dean of students as well as executive director at a K – 12 school in Saudi Arabia.
Reg also served his country as a U.S. diplomat and naval officer. He was appointed to serve in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps at the U.S. Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain as Head of Navy Programs tasked with creating and developing cooperation efforts between the U.S. Fifth Feet in the Middle East, the Royal Bahrain Navy, and others. Prior to leaving the Naval Service He served as an attaché to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations in Washington D.C and as a Destroyer Squadron Operations Officer on the aircraft carrier USS Constellation. He is a Salzburg Austria Global Fellow engaged in developing concepts and conducting research in social and emotional learning as well as efforts toward first-year experience programs related to enhancing students’ self-esteem and retention in college to achieve student success inside and outside the classroom.
In the community Reg volunteers on Focus’ Board of Directors assisting primarily with supporting Citizens Academy operations, curriculum development and expansion as well as fund development. He also serves on the Syracuse City School District’s Curriculum & Technical Education Partnership Council, is a
MACNY Career Coach for students, and serves as an advisor and mentor for PSLA Fowler High School’s Navy National Defense Cadet Corps.