A Brief History of the Owner
Nicola Parrotta was born on December 15, 1950 in Calabria, Italy in the province of Catanzaro. Calabria is a region of southern Italy located at the toe of the Italian peninsula.
In his small hometown, Nicola walked to and from grammar school each day
(a twelve-mile journey) until he completed high school.
At the age of seventeen, Nicola, along with his parents and two younger brothers, packed their bags for America in hopes for a better life. He worked with his father in construction in the Middletown area for seven years. On the weekends, he would commute to the Bronx where he worked in an Italian pork store manufacturing and selling salami.
In 1973, Nicola purchased the pork store where he worked on Arthur Avenue and re-named it Calabria Pork Store (after his hometown in Italy). The store became his pride and joy, his first “baby” and became renowned for its authentic Italian products. Another great thing happened to Nicola that year; he married Marisa Lostumbo, also of Calabria. The couple has been blessed with six children.
With a family to support, Nicola began thinking big and invested in residential and commercial real estate in the Middletown area. In 1995, he purchased the Stepping Stones Montessori School on Bennett Street where his daughter Adriana attended pre-school; the school had only 19 students at the time. Nicola began renovating and after some time, enrollment grew. The four-classroom school could not accommodate the rapid growth.
In 1997, Mr. Parrotta purchased the old Albert Street School from the City of Middletown. Bringing along with him Cathy Prezioso, the school’s head teach for over thirty years. The two came up with a new name: New Beginnings Montessori School now known as New Beginnings Learning Academy. Nicola's youngest daughter, Nicole now operates the school and real estate.
Mr. Parrotta firmly believes in private school education: “It’s just not the same as public school - it’s more focused on what children need for a higher level of education”. He knows from personal experience that this country is full of opportunities for dreams to come true, “and it all starts right here at school.” Although Nicola is a man of many trades, he is especially passionate about the importance of a quality education.