Passing on the torch

by Jenny DeStefano, Managing Editor

Pictures of family, degrees, and his children’s artwork frame the vice principal’s office. Filling brown box after brown box with belongings will be tough for second year vice principal Michael Pasciuto.

Pasciuto has accepted a job at Montville’s Robert R. Lazar Middle School as principal starting next year. The search for a replacement assistant principal began shortly after Pasciuto announced his departure.

A specialized committee will be formed to select a new candidate. One of the members of that  committee, Principal John Arlotta, explains that they will have multiple interviews with different candidates. Even though he’s busy looking for a replacement, Arlotta says that losing Pasciuto won’t be easy.

“Mr. Pasciuto in a short time has become a good friend,” he said. “I value our talks about making a great school even better, especially our advancements with technology.”

To assist in the committee’s decision, candidates should have prior experience working with adolescents and retain administrative experience.

For Pasciuto, however, this addition in his career path will be providing him with experience.

Before his departure, Pasciuto enjoys reflecting on his relationship with the students during his time here. Whether it be through academic, athletic, or personal merit, he admits that watching the students mature are memories that will last him a lifetime.

“The positive experiences that I’ve had with kids is always the best part of my job,” he said. “Usually, my favorite thing is if a kid is struggling with something or going through a tough time and they wind up turning it into a positive thing and begin doing well- it’s the best feeling.”  

He also gives some advice to whomever will replace him.

“Work as closely with Mr. Arlotta as possible, because he’s a tremendous resource,” Pasciuto said. “My advice would be to get some thick skin, because in this position, most of the decisions that are made and come out of this office are generally not popular, in the sense that they are dealing with discipline.”

Nonetheless, Pasciuto isn’t the only one giving out guidance. Arlotta has also equipped Pasciuto with some tricks of the trade.

“Learn the culture of the school and those involved before rushing to make any changes,” he said. “I am confident he will be as great there as he was here. Our loss is Montville’s gain.”

As students enter summer break, the administrative faculty will begin their seasonal activities, such as creating schedules and monitoring renovations. Janice Crowley, an administrative assistant, is one such partaker. However, this year she adds another task to her to-do list: saying goodbye to Pasciuto.

“I have helped him with attendance issues and all other things that come up day to day in the assistant principal’s office,” Crowley said. “I will miss him, wish him well and hope that he keeps in touch as he moves along in his career.”

In a few days, Glen Rock will send off Michael Pasciuto into a new chapter of his career, but that doesn’t mean he will forget the impact this school had on him.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity that I had here in Glen Rock,” Pasciuto said. “I know that I’ve only been here for two years, but I feel like I have made some friendships and relationships that will last a very long time.”