The new principal at Eisenhower Middle School says lighting a fire in the minds of children at a young, impressionable age is his passion.
“My goal is to get kids to discover what they love about learning, to get excited, and to become self-motivated, life-long learners,” said Chris Iasiello, 34. “I really love my job.”
Iasiello was officially announced as the middle school principal on Monday night. His predecessor Stephen Raimo recently accepted a promotion as the director of research, planning, curriculum and evaluation in the district.
Iasiello, a Waldwick resident, is a former social studies teacher at Paramus and Fair Lawn high schools. He said he brings the perspective of what middle school students need to be prepared for their next steps in education.
“We are blessed with an amazing school district containing all three important ingredients for success — we have a unique combination of outstanding students, parents who are incredibly generous with time and resources and a wonderful faculty who constantly researches the best practices for teaching,” said Iasiello, who officially takes the over at the school on July 1. “Other districts have one, maybe two of these attributes, but Eisenhower, as Wyckoff’s flagship school, has all three.”
Iasiello’s influence had already caught the eye of administrators, teachers and members of the community during his two years as vice principal at Eisenhower where his focus has been to teach children good work ethics, responsibility, and a connection with people around the globe.
“Today’s education must include the study of cultural influences, political movements, the economy and why it collapsed — how we got here and where we are going,” said Iasiello speaking about new programs of study that include the United Nations recognized “Girls Up” series which focuses on the discrimination of women worldwide.
Superintendent Richard Kuder affirmed this need for technology citing a recent study evaluating the educational outcomes of students with and without tech support, saying that student performance was much better in math and language with technological support.
“We are lucky to live in this specific time period in history,” said Iasiello, whose idea of technology is described as a "filter of media.”
The Wyckoff Education Foundation announced a earlier this month for additional purchases of iPads, educational apps and teacher training at the middle school.
The money comes on the heels of funding by the WEF last year that enabled the district to buy 125 iPads for Wyckoff elementary and middle schools.
Students and teachers in a demo earlier this year at .
Even teachers are tweeting with other teachers from around the world to see what — and how — they can more effectively do their job, he said.
“Our panel of teachers, administrators and parents narrowed the choices to 12 qualified applicants of which eight were selected for interviews. It came down to two finalists,” said Kuder, adding that Iasiello would reinforce the vision of an education that challenges both students and teachers to grow.
Iasiello will earn a salary of $129,495, according to the district.
As a former debate coach, Iasiello graduated with a bachelor's degree in education and history from Seton Hall University and a master's in educational leadership from the University of Scranton.
Iasiello, a father of three girls ages 5, 3, and 1, said that being the principal at Eisenhower Middle School will be good practice for parenting, adding with a smile, that he expects to be “very busy.”
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