By Stephen E. Lipken
New Bronxville Union Free School District (BUFSD) Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano, Ed.D, 59, hails from a long line of educators, beginning with his father Rocco and mother, Ann.
“My mother was teaching in Bergenfield, NJ and my dad was coming back from World War II, studying on the G.I. Bill at the time.
“When they married, my mom became pregnant and at that time was not allowed to continue working. The Superintendent of Schools called my dad in and told him that since he was responsible, he would have to take over her class….He wound up staying in that District for 38 years and rose through the ranks as teacher, Principal and ultimately, Bergenfield Superintendent of Schools.
Montesano shared that three of his older brothers were Superintendents as well, throughout New Jersey and New York. Montesano’s wife Lisa is Superintendent of the Norwood, NJ Public School District.
Born in Hackensack, NJ, Montesano brings 37 years of experience in public education; most recently the Superintendent of Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District for the past 5 years; before that Superintendent of Ramsey Public School District, where he was awarded Superintendent of the Year by NJ Association of School Administrators in 2011.
Regarding instituting new programs, Montesano stated, “My plan is to observe and talk to as many people as I can to learn about the District, the community and culture first, before I make any recommendations for programmatic changes.”
Discussing the Core Curriculum, Montesano said, “I support having high standards for students and believe that the Core standards has attempted to do that.
“The problem has become in rollout of the standards and more importantly, rollout of assessment of the standards. I am not sure that the way we currently assess our standards by the way we test our students is the best way to do things.
“That is where I think there are some issues, the fact that they try to place such high stakes on the tests. The State has backed off on some of that… Teacher evaluations were tied to student test results. It is a lot of pressure on students and teachers on this one set of assessments which are really one small component how we measure the quality of our student work.”