VERONA, NJ - Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders named Verona Superintendent Dr. Rui Dionisio the 2019-2020 Superintendent of the Year for Essex County. 

Dr. Dionisio, who is also a resident of Verona, has served as the Verona Superintendent of Schools since 2014.  He is known for being a highly effective, collaborative leader who maintains a caring approach toward guiding his students and community. He has led the way in helping Verona Public Schools make significant advancements in state and national rankings, while providing a multitude of academic opportunities that have resulted in numerous recognitions and honors. He has advocated to state legislators for increased school funding, worked with the Board of Education on the development and management of multi-million-dollar capital improvement projects, and he has expanded use of technology in education, creating a one-to-one Chromebook initiative at Verona High School.

The resolution honoring Dr. Dionisio was sponsored by Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold. She stated, “As a retired teacher myself with over 30 years of experience in the West Orange Public School system, I understand firsthand what goes into working with the students, staff and parents to achieve this type of outcome. Hard work certainly pays off.”

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Dr. Dionisio is a constant advocate for students and staff. He established a partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit organization developed through Stanford University to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building sports experience. He spearheaded Verona community action committees on mental health and suicide prevention, which created an innovative mental health program. He also passed the expansion of full-day kindergarten, and established the award winning Verona Public Schools Magazine.

In addition to his vast experience as an educator teaching both math and science, serving administrative positions, and serving as an adjunct professor in the Saint Peter’s University educational leadership doctoral program, he also currently serves as the Co-President of the Essex County Association of School Superintendents.

Dr. Dionisio was gracious in accepting the Commendation from the Board, and thanked everyone in the Verona community who he has worked with during his tenure. “This award is a testament to all the amazing people in our community and on our Board of Education. We have incredibly talented teachers, faculty members, and administrators. We have dedicated and highly motivated students and a supportive parental community. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be guiding such a stellar wonderful district.”