Dr. Rui Dionisio joined the Verona Public Schools as Superintendent in August 2014. In this role, Dr. Dionisio maintains a collaborative and caring approach with a student-centered focus. Dr. Dionisio is supportive of continuous growth through high quality teaching and leadership practices. He believes that an actively vibrant, student-centered educational community focused on empowering our students to achieve their unique individual potential is possible with input from community stakeholders. As a result, Dr. Dionisio has established an entry plan that focuses on meeting with Verona's stakeholders within his first 100 days. His approach encourages the sharing of input and concerns from the community in an effort to set the district’s course.
Prior to arriving in Verona as Superintendent, Dr. Dionisio served as a high school principal in Union County. Under his leadership, the administrative and teaching staff expanded opportunities for students enrolled in rigorous coursework, raised SAT mean scores to 1625, increased AP school-wide enrollment to 41 percent participation, improved AP passing performance to 81 percent, and significantly expanded peer leadership programs.
Dr. Dionisio has experience as a teacher, club advisor, athletic coach, science supervisor, and assistant principal in New Jersey school districts. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in science, math, and technology, and was an Advanced Placement Biology teacher. Dr. Dionisio has also taught biomedical engineering summer enrichment programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
While a teacher in Essex County, Dr. Dionisio embraced the belief that students will rise to the level of expectation that adults set for them. As a teacher, he increased AP Biology enrollment with over a 93% passing rate. In Ridgewood, Dr. Dionisio was the recipient of the Bristol Myers Squibb Grants for Teaching Excellence supporting inquiry-based science instruction and professional development for staff, a program ultimately adopted by the district. As an administrator in Bergen County, he served as assistant principal, supervisor, and equal education opportunity officer.
Dr. Dionisio completed his doctorate in educational leadership, management and policy at Seton Hall University. His dissertation examines the impact of inquiry-based science on student engagement and academic achievement. He holds a B.A. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Montclair State University. An active member of our community, Dr. Dionisio lives in Verona with his wife and children.
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