SUMMIT, NJ - Joseph Cordero has been named to succeed Ron Poles as Principal of Jefferson Elementary School, effective July 1. Poles announced March 16 that he is retiring after a 25-year career in the Summit Public School District, the last 15 of which have seen him serve as Jefferson's top administrator. Cordero's appointment is subject to the approval of the Summit Board of Education, which is expected to occur at the Board's May 11 meeting.

Cordero has worked for the Jersey City School District for 15 years, beginning his career teaching elementary students in second and fourth grade. Following that, he worked in the Curriculum & Instruction Department and Special Education Department as a Literacy Coach. In that role, Cordero used assessments and data to help differentiate instruction. By identifying trends, he sought to find specific focus areas to increase achievement for all learners. He served on data teams that centered on understanding which factors impacted student learning and how to target them effectively. Cordero presented multiple professional development opportunities for administrators and staff members throughout the district.

In 2012, Cordero was selected as Assistant Principal of a PreK-8 building and subsequently Principal of a PreK-5 school.  In his administrative roles he developed curriculum, managed school budgets, organized scheduling, and was an assessment coordinator. He and his administrative team brought many STEM-related initiatives and partnerships to the school including Latinas in STEM and NJIT Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Chapter. These organizations work to introduce many opportunities within various STEM fields. Under his leadership, a STEM lab was built enabling all students to benefit from unique experiences such as 3D printing.

Cordero is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Kean University.