OSDFS: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
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Biography of William Modzeleski
Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary

Official ED Photo - William Modzeleski Mr. Modzeleski is the Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. The office provides funds and assistance to Governors, State Education Agencies, and local school districts to develop strategies and programs to meet the seventh National Education Goal: That by the Year 2000, all schools will be safe, disciplined, and drug-free.

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Modzeleski was detailed to the Department of Education from the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as Executive Director of the National Commission on Drug-Free Schools. The Commission on Drug-Free Schools was established by Congress to develop recommendations for achieving drug free schools and campuses. It is the fourth major Commission Mr. Modzeleski served on. The others dealt with family violence, child abuse and child molestation, drug use, and youth violence. (Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence, President's Child Safety Partnership, White House Conference for a Drug-Free America.)

Mr. Modzeleski has over 25 years of experience at the local and Federal levels in criminal and juvenile justice areas. While at the Department of Justice, he served in a variety of capacities including: Juvenile Justice and Corrections Specialist; Staff Director of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Director of Family Violence Programs; and Federal Coordinator of High Impact Cities Program (Newark, New Jersey).

In his role as Associate Deputy Under Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, Mr. Modzeleski is involved in the design and development of drug and alcohol prevention programs, violence prevention programs, and activities especially as they affect the school and in school health-related issues. He assisted in the design of the Safe Schools Act of 1994, a bill developed to provide assistance to local educational agencies for violence prevention activities, and in the reauthorization of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

Mr. Modzeleski has represented the Department of Education on several interagency committees including: White House Conference on Youth, Drugs, and Violence; Conference on Youth Violence Prevention; Mexican/American High Level Contact Group for the Fight Against Drug Trafficking; Violence Against Women Interagency Working Group; and the Interdepartmental Working Group on Violence (chair of School Violence Committee). He has also formed and led a delegation of counselors, psychologists, and mental health providers to Oklahoma City, to assist the Oklahoma Public Schools cope with the psychological effects of the bombing.

Mr. Modzeleski has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Bridgeport, and a Masters of Public Administration from C.W. Post College. Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army. He was commissioned in 1968 and served in various capacities in the U.S. and in Vietnam.

He recently authored an article on Creating Safe Schools (Education and Urban Society, Vol. 28 No. 4, August 1996, Sage Publications, Inc.), and co-authored an article on School Associated Violent Deaths in the United States, 1992 to 1994 (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 12, 1996 Volume 275).

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Last Modified: 03/28/2007