University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men is another one of "Munno's Miracles." After a long career in city schools, President Joe Munno made it happen when others had doubts. He knows about everything that happens here. That's why Principal Connie Lucchese had to trick him. "I have him with another administrator handling a problem that doesn't exist!"
The first class of U Prep Seniors were in on our surprise. Mr. Munno had no idea what was about to happen. He walked into cheers and applause and cries of thank you! He was shocked.
"You know he comes across as a very tough exterior," says Lucchese. "But I've never met anybody so kind and loving and giving. And what he does for our kids, their families, going above and beyond. He wants to help everybody in this community."
The kids call him "Munno." They love him because he believes in students when they don't believe in themselves. Jameil Williams' family nominated Mr. Munno. "He goes out of the way for me and my brother and he does it for everyone else. He's a good person."
After 41 years in education why does Joe Munno till love his job? "Well, it's not like work, it's never been work for me. It's about working with children, working with young men, working with families that appreciate what you do. It's not work, it's just great."
Mentor, advocate, role model, all describe Mr. Munno. "I'm impressed, I'm grateful, I'm thankful. I really am. Thank you.
Joe Munno is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. If you look below you can read the nomination we received.
Dear News 8,
Mr. Munno is more than just a principal he is a Mentor for these young boys, he is an advocate for them and he really has " their back". Mr Munno believes in his students when they have given up on themselves. He encourages them to do their best and will do all that he can to help them achieve their goals.
Personally, Mr. Munno has done so much for my son. He has given him opportunity after opportunity to prove himself where as another school would have given up and kicked him out. Mr. Munno believed in my child and stood by his side and really puts his heart into his work. He understands that most of the boys that attend his school really do not have any male role models in their lives except for the teachers at the school, So he works hard to take time to really listen to these kids and let them know that he is always their for them.
I couldn't ask for a better principal for the school. He really is great and deserves recognition for all that he does.
Carrie Thompson, Parent