Samuel Alfonso Scarnato obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Samuel Alfonso Scarnato

September 25, 1929 - Unknown

Obituary


Samuel A. Scarnato, former Deputy Superintendant of New Orleans Public Schools, passed away peacefully in his home February 16, 2015. He was 85 years old. A first generation Italian-American, he was the oldest son of Philomena and Serafino Scarnato. Beloved husband of Nancy Ryan Scarnato. Devoted father to Elizabeth Miller (John) McCusker), David Scarnato (Julia) Susan Wishlinski (D.C. Peterson), Juliann Fangue (David), and Joni Korbock (Eric). He is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 1 brother and 4 sisters.



He was raised in Butler, Pennsylvania and graduated from Butler High School....

Samuel A. Scarnato, former Deputy Superintendant of New Orleans Public Schools, passed away peacefully in his home February 16, 2015. He was 85 years old. A first generation Italian-American, he was the oldest son of Philomena and Serafino Scarnato. Beloved husband of Nancy Ryan Scarnato. Devoted father to Elizabeth Miller (John) McCusker), David Scarnato (Julia) Susan Wishlinski (D.C. Peterson), Juliann Fangue (David), and Joni Korbock (Eric). He is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 1 brother and 4 sisters.



He was raised in Butler, Pennsylvania and graduated from Butler High School. Before choosing a career in education, Scarnato chased his dream of playing baseball. A gifted athlete, he made it to the minor league farm team, the Butler Yankees. He then turned his ambition toward coaching which combined his love for sports, children and his natural ability to lead.



Dr. Scarnato was a graduate of Slippery Rock State College and received his Masters Degree in Education from the University of Pittsburg. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Michigan. He met his wife, Nancy, who supported and shared in his life’s work, while working in Jackson, Michigan. They were married in 1958.



Scarnato was working as an Acting Superintendent in Wilmington, Delaware, when Dr. Gene Giesert created the Deputy Superintendent position to lure Scarnato to New Orleans. Dr. Scarnato arrived in New Orleans in 1972 and immediately began work on staff desegregation. Other accomplishments during his tenure include the Energy Conservation Program, expansion of Special Education Services, Asbestos Investigation and helping to found the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.



In 1983, Scarnato left New Orleans to become Superintendent of the St. Louis Special School District. There he was instrumental in restoring public confidence and integrity to a system in turmoil and with fiscal deficits. He returned to New Orleans as Chief Executive Officer and retired from that position in 1991. Upon his return he worked to establish the Louisiana Association of School Executives and assisted the Teacher Retirement System of Louisiana in negotiating benefits. In retirement he helped establish the Louisiana Executive Service Corp to help assist and train future leaders in the charter schools.



Sam was a devout Catholic and recipient of the Saint Louis Medallion from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was a founding member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and enjoyed serving his community in many capacities.



Mass will be held 11:00 am at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with Visitation to begin at 10:00 am February 23, 2015. Cremation will follow with interment at a later date.



In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 6201 Stratford Place, New Orleans, La., 70131.