BOE Picks New Superintendent

By on June 9, 2014

Rui Dionisio has been picked to be the new superintendent of Verona's public schools

Rui Dionisio has been picked to be the new superintendent of Verona’s public schools

The Verona Board of Education has picked a Verona resident to replace Steven A. Forte as superintendent.

Rui Dionisio has lived in Verona since 2008 and is currently the principal of Cranford High School. He will be touring Verona’s schools this morning and a contingent of Verona students, teachers and administrators will travel to Cranford on Tuesday to ask questions about the new superintendent of their counterparts there. Other Verona residents will have a chance to meet Dionisio on Monday, June 16, at 7 p.m. in the media center at Verona High School. The BOE will put a resolution about the new hire on the agenda on Tuesday, June 17.

“We wanted someone experienced in a district that is high achieving,” said John Quattrochi, the president of the BOE. “They know what good looks like.” Cranford High School was ranked 562 on The Washington Post‘s list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” this spring, a list that put Verona High School at 858 nationally.

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Cranford High School has 1,157 students, with a 65% participation in Advanced Placement testing, according to U.S. News & World Report. The magazine reported earlier this spring that Verona has 613 students in VHS alone, with a 50% participation in AP testing.

Dionisio has a background in math and science education, something that Verona has made a priority going forward. He was graduated from Montclair State University in 1999 with a bachelors of science in biology and chemistry, and got his masters in educational administration and supervision from MSU in 2006. He recently completed work on his Ed.D. in educational leadership at Seton Hall University.

Prior to becoming Cranford’s principal in 2010, Dionisio was an assistant principal at Ridgewood High School and a supervisor of science there. He taught biology at West Essex High School and also taught at NJIT.

Dionisio replaces Steve Forte, who became superintendent in December 2011 after the departure of Charles Sampson. In January, Forte was hired to be the new superintendent in his home town of Denville; he begins that position July 1. Dionisio must give 60 days notice to Cranford so he cannot start in Verona until later this summer. Charlie Miller, Verona’s director of curriculum, will serve as interim superintendent until then.

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  1. Pete

    June 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Participation in Advanced Placement testing is a meaningless statistic. Any student can “participate” in the testing by paying the fee to do so.

  2. Virginia Citrano

    June 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Not entirely, Pete. Until two years ago, a lot of kids at VHS weren’t even challenged to take AP courses. Now, lots more are and for some, the score on the AP exam can save the cost of a class in college. (Read our story last year on Ben Jung and McGill.) It’s not a perfect process and there’s still way too much high-stakes testing in our school. But we’d hesitate to call it “meaningless”.

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