FAIR LAWN, NJ – John A. Forrest Elementary School will see a new face in the fall when Damon Placenti, previously of the Rutherford School district, will take the helm as the new principal.

Placenti, who was appointed on June 25, will be paid an annual salary of $141,465. He was one of 70 candidates from a list that was whittled down to seven before he was selected as the new hire. According to Superintendent Nick Norcia, Placenti “rose above the other candidates” in each interview stage with “his personality, team approach and response and intervention.”

Placenti, who was previously an elementary teacher and vice principal in the Rutherford School district, respectively, introduced a 1:1 laptop initiative in the district in addition to leading an “inspiring” restructuring of new students and staff and being proactive in phoning parents on a weekly basis to keep them apprised of their children’s progress. 

“The little things that we felt we connected so well with him throughout the interview process I’m sure you’ll see over time,” said Norcia, during his first meeting as district head since taking over for Interim Superintendent Ernest Palestis Monday night. “I’m happy to bring him in front of the board tonight.”