The Superintendent’s Corner Column

Spring Update

April 2016

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” Susan J. Bissonette

The Verona Public Schools is extremely appreciative of a donation of $10,000 made by the Conference SCA to support the district technology initiative. These funds were raised from the Harlem Wizards fundraiser in Spring 2015 and helped support technology professional development for teachers and staff in Verona. Proceeds from this year’s Harlem Wizards event will help support all of our school libraries. The SCA parents devote countless hours and energy to assist our students and staff. Please contribute to our SCA and consider becoming a part of your school’s organization.

We would like to thank the Field Committee, comprised of our community stakeholders, for all of their input throughout the entire field design process. The referendum field project at Verona High School will include remediation of the upper field with synthetic turf and athletic lights, synthetic turf for the lower fields, renovation and expansion of the tennis courts, and the addition of parking spaces. The Verona Board of Education received planning board approval this past winter and the project was publicly bid on March 15th. The bid opening for this project is scheduled for April 21st. The Verona Board of Education will have an opportunity to review the bid proposals submitted for this project before a contract is awarded.

Verona High School will be closed this summer for student programs and activities due to the continuation of construction projects outlined in the referendum. All Verona summer programs will be relocated to other district schools as we did last summer. The Verona High School music room addition has experienced delays due to soil consistency that are being addressed. The project will continue to make progress and we anticipate completion in Summer 2016. The remaining referendum projects will improve our heating and ventilation infrastructure at VHS, renovate the VHS and HBW cafeteria kitchens, and complete necessary masonry repairs at schools throughout the district. These projects are on schedule for Summer 2016. The district will continue to update the community at BOE meetings and through newsletters as we progress over the next several weeks.

The Verona Foundation for Educational Excellence (VFEE) is an outstanding local organization that supports the Verona Public Schools by funding a “comprehensive grant program designed to enhance the educational experiences of Verona’s children.” All of our students greatly benefit from the financial contributions from people like you and the innovative ideas by our teachers and staff. You can learn more about the exciting grants VFEE has helped make possible by visiting their website. Please consider donating to VFEE by visiting

On Friday, April 22nd, VFEE will host their annual soiree at Bella Gente Trattoria in Verona. The following Verona staff members will be recognized for their outstanding contributions and will receive the Inspiring Excellence Award 2015-16:

Claire Duffy, Brookdale Avenue School
Corisa Walker, F.N. Brown School
Lisa Varuolo, Forest Avenue School
Grace Minervo-Buneo, Laning Avenue School
Jennifer Kleinknecht, H.B. Whitehorne Middle School
Richard Wertz, Verona High School

VFEE will also recognize the achievements of Barbara Kistner with the creation of a special grant for the 2016-2017 school year. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients of the Inspiring Excellence Award.

Please mark your calendars. The Verona Board of Education approved the recommendation to close the Verona Public Schools on Friday, May 27, 2016 based on remaining snow days in the school calendar. Enjoy the weather. Spring is finally here.


Dr. Rui Dionisio is the Superintendent of the Verona Public Schools. Dr. Dionisio encourages community members to contact him with questions or feedback at 973-571-2029 or via email at