Although Sam Penceal is probably best known for his athletic exploits as a member of the Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Team in the 1960s while playing with and against such basketball legends as Dave Bing (Syracuse), Bill Bradley (Princeton) and Rick Barry (Miami), Sam coached CCNY’s Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis Teams in the 1980s and 1990s. He is a member of the Boys High School Hall of Legends, the Brooklyn USA Basketball Hall of Fame and the City College of New York’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

A lifelong Harlem resident, Sam has been an educator and education administrator in New York and around the country for more than four decades. Sam is a former Blue Ribbon award-winning middle school principal experienced in improving schools and increasing student academic achievement. Over the course of his career, he has trained principals in the day to day operations of schools, provided professional development for teachers and administrators and worked with parents, community leaders, at risk youth and business leaders. His work in charter school development required him to recruit students and staff, hold informational meetings for parents, coordinate public relations campaigns, investigate potential sites for schools and work with landlords, evaluate charter school applications and make public appearances on behalf of the schools. He has experience in alternative education on the high school and college levels and has many years of community involvement in urban settings. He has also served on the New York Urban League’s Education Policy Committee whose mission is to advocate for the human rights of each New York City child to access quality education, to train and deploy parents as advocates on behalf of their children, and to influence policy makers on effective and successful education policy and practice. Although, he has never worked in the media as a professional, Sam credits his Newhouse training in “television/radio” for much of the success he has achieved as an educator. 

Having lived with Type 2 Diabetes since the mid-90s, Sam is an active supporter of the American Diabetes Association helping to raise funds and to increase awareness of the disease which has reached epidemic proportions among the young.