November 21, 2016

Remembering Leonard G. Zwick

5th RSD Superintendent Died Peacefully November 17, 2016

Rochester, NY – Mr. Leonard G. Zwick, the 5th Superintendent and CEO of Rochester School for the Deaf (1974 – 1990), died peacefully on November 17, 2016,  at age 89. He was predeceased by parents, Andrew & Barbara Zwick; sister, Judy Zwick; brothers, Andrew & John Zwick. He is survived by his wife of 59 years Patricia (Gerken) Zwick; children, Beth Zwick, Len A. Zwick, Cathy Zwick, Don (Katie) Zwick, Gary (Laura) Zwick; grandchildren, Hana & Mark Zwick, Brian & Sandra Colangelo, Makenzie & Marisa Zwick; sisters-in-law, Rita & Marisa Zwick; nieces, nephews and many friends.

As a true champion for an appropriate and effective education of Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth in Upstate New York, Mr. Zwick will be remembered for his thoughtfulness, compassion and sense of humor but most of all for his love of his family.

Mr. Zwick joined RSD as a teacher in 1957. In July 1970 he became School Principal, and in July 1974 he was appointed Superintendent. Before joining RSD, Mr. Zwick taught at St. Mary's School for the Deaf and in public schools in the Buffalo, NY, area. He became interested in working with Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth while in college and working as a counselor at a summer camp on Lake Erie.

After serving in the U.S. Navy Air Corp., Mr. Zwick did his undergraduate work at University College in Buffalo. He earned his Master’s degree in education from the University of Buffalo and his Master’s in administration and supervision at California State Northridge.

Mr. Zwick worked with University of Rochester to develop career guidance materials for Deaf high school students. He also worked with RSD Superintendent Dr. Ralph Hoag and SUNY Geneseo faculty to develop training programs for Teachers of the Deaf.

Superintendent Zwick was influential in bringing many new projects and programs to RSD, such as the Center for Communication Research, the National Captioned Films for the Deaf Selection Program, a Day Care program for children of RSD staff and others, and a joint program with Hillside Children's Center for Deaf children and youth with special needs. During his administration the new west wing of Westervelt Hall was completed. It includes the Learning Resource Center, auditorium and indoor swimming pool. 

Mr. Zwick retired in 1990. To honor his service to RSD, and to the countless lives of Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth and their families that he touched, the school erected the Leonard G. Zwick Conference Center (ZCC) as a wing to Galloway Hall on the RSD campus. The ZCC is where the RSD Board of Directors and committees meet and where groups internal and external to RSD hold conferences, meetings, and other functions.

Calling hours were held Sunday, November 20, 2016, at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc., in Henrietta. Mr. Zwick's Funeral Mass was held on Monday, November 21st at St. Joseph Church, in Penfield, followed by interment at Irondequoit Cemetery, on Culver Road in E. Irondequoit.

Cards of condolence may be sent to: The Zwick Family, 6 Hampton Way, Penfield NY 14526.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Zwick’s name may be made to Rochester School for the Deaf, where a fund will be established in the Zwick Family name for professional development; 1545 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14621; Click here to donate online and enter "Leonard G. Zwick" in the Comments box; or to the Rotary Sunshine Camp, c/o Rochester Rotary Charitable Trusts, 180 Linden Oaks, Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14625.



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