Home » GIUFSD welcomes James Colon as the director of the new Heatly Rising After School Program

GIUFSD welcomes James Colon as the director of the new Heatly Rising After School Program

James Colon

Green Island UFSD is thrilled to welcome James Colon as the district’s director of the new Heatly Rising After School Program. Mr. Colon joined Heatly at the end of October and brings over 16 years of experience to his new role. He attended SUNY Oneonta, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduating in 2006, Mr. Colon began his career in education, working in school districts with youth in various capacities. His most recent positions include recreation coordinator and behavior specialist.  

As the director of the Heatly Rising After School Program, Mr. Colon will oversee its launch and implementation. The program is funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, which was awarded to Green Island UFSD in the spring of 2022. It will provide Heatly students with enriching activities that support academic growth, physical health, and social-emotional development.

Although Mr. Colon just started at Heatly, he has received a lot of feedback from families about the need for healthy and productive after school programming. “I believe this program will help Heatly students improve their academic and social skills, all while having fun,” Mr. Colon said.

When asked what he enjoys most about his job, Mr. Colon said “being a part of students’ successes—getting to see the progress, hard work and fun that goes into learning new skills.” Mr. Colon goes on to say that the best part about his new role is getting the opportunity “to interact with students in a more relaxed environment, while still supporting their school day goals.”

With extensive experience in education, Mr. Colon has been given numerous pieces of advice over the years. However, the best advice he’s received is that all behavior has meaning. “It’s up to adults to develop positive rapport with all students in a way that helps both the student and the adult understand each other”, with the objective being working towards a common goal. 

A fun fact about Mr. Colon is that he enjoys being active and “believes a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind.”