Monday, August 24, 2015

Principal Damon Englese


Bogota Blog NJ Questions for  Bixby Principal Damon Englese 

    Starting the School year of 2015-16  the E.Roy Bixby school will have a new Principal.  Damon Englese will take over for longtime Principal Robert Watts who retired at the end of the last School year. Principal Englese is a graduate of Seton Hall University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He then earned his Master's Degree from St. Peter’s University in Educational Administration & Supervision. His Academic career includes starting as an elementary school teacher in Union City, NJ as well as teaching in the high school in the same district. His first administrative duties also came in Union City as he oversaw, and become  an Assistant Principal at Jefferson School. He also worked in Emerson High School, Roosevelt and Veterans’ Memorial School.
    After nine year in Union City he moved onto the Hillsdale School District serving as Assistant Principal in their Middle school for five years. During that time he also served as an interim principal at it’s elementary school. His most recent job was with the New Jersey Department of Education working as a Turnaround Coach/ Educational Data Specialist in the NJDOE’s  RAC Regions # 1 & 2. His duties were to assist Principals with school reviews and improvement plans.

-Why did you choose to apply for the position in Bogota. 

     Being from Bergen County, I always knew that Bogota was a great place to be, small and tight-knit. This is exactly what I was looking for in a principal position. I wanted a position where I would be able to be a part of the community and lead a school with its members of society.

- How has your past years in Union City & Hillsdale prepared you for for being a full time principal.

     During the past several years I have had many positions where I became well-rounded in all facets of education.  In Union City, I was honored to be the assistant principal of an elementary school that was unique in its special education population.  This position taught me all about the special education population, analysis of IEPs, and how to handle sometimes difficult situations.  In Hillsdale, I was able to work with an older population of students that really allowed me to see students grow into young adults.  My most recent position with the New Jersey Department of Education really led me to see all different kinds of principals.  I learned how to lead them to become better principals and also learned from some fabulous educational leaders.

- What will your time working in the NJDOE mean to your approach in leading Bixby school, and where you you like to see improvement. 

     As I stated above, working with the Department of Education has taught me a lot of what a great principal should look like and in that time I really led some principals to be some of the best.  My philosophy is simple best. My philosophy is simple we need to always do what is best for the children and that is what I intend to do.  I lead in a direct manner, but always listen to the needs of the students, parents, and teachers.  As far as improvements, if you have passed the school recently, there are several construction projects I have been overseeing at the school.  This summer we have worked very hard at creating a new schedule for the elementary schools district-wide.  I am eagerly anticipating the upcoming school year and cannot wait to begin.

- Beyond testing what other ways are there to help develop the Students chances to learn, and grow in their years in school. 

   There are several other ways to help students develop.  Character education is quite important in shaping the minds’ of young students and is important in elementary school. Programs are designed to help students learn and also become model members of society.  This is done through great instruction from our teachers and school staff.

- Who has been your biggest influences, and is there any system that can be use in Bixby as well as Steen schools.

I think that over the years there are so many people that enter and exit your life for a reason.  Each person leaves a little bit of influence along the way.  So, many people have impacted my life, but my mother is the reason I entered into education.  She was a third grade teacher for 39 years and really taught me how rewarding the educational profession can be.

- When the new apartments complex opens on Palisades Ave. there may be a sudden influx of Students to Bixby. Is there a way to prepare for this and to reduce the affects of new students, some entering during the school year. 

   As far as an actual system, I think not.  The key to preparing for this kind of situation is to project the number of students that will be entering the school system and being prepared for those numbers of students entering our classrooms.

- If not Education what other field would you have like to explored, and what extra curricular actives do you like to participate in. 

   I have always wanted to work with children ever since I young.  I saw the impact my mother had working with children as an educator and wanted to follow in her footsteps.  When not working I enjoy traveling and spending quality time with my family.

- Is there any  other message you would like to have the Students, and their Parents know as the new school year starts.

  I would like to take this time to thank all the community members for really being supportive and polite since I have started one month ago in my new position.  I am eager for September to come and to build positive relationships with everyone, Parents, Students, Teachers, and the PTA. And please remember, my office is always open to any comments, questions, or concerns that anyone may have and I am always available by email : denglese@bogotaschools.boe .  To all my students, welcome back and I cannot wait to meet you all in person.  Let’s have a great, fun, and fulfilling school year!!

 Also new at Bixby are improvements to the Fisher Ave. entrance. The stairs to the front door have been replace with new ones. There has also been extensive landscaping to the front lawn along Fisher Ave. A garden plan that uses organic mulch and weed protection add colour to the front of the school. On the opposite of the walk a gravel  pad has been added including a number of benches for seating.

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