Mr. DeMaio Announces Retirement

Mr. DeMaio Announces Retirement
Photo: Mr. DeMaio

Below are the contents of the News Brief Dr. Gundersen sent to all students, parents, and staff announcing the retirement of Mr. Thomas DeMaio as Principal of Pascack Valley High School.

At our October 28 Board of Education meeting, the Board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Mr. Thomas DeMaio as he will be retiring from the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.  When communicating his upcoming retirement to staff, parents, and students, Mr. DeMaio remarked about the special place "PV" is and how he will miss everyone deeply.

Photo: Mr. Thomas DeMaioOn behalf of the district, I would like to thank Mr. DeMaio for his 18 years of service and recognize his integral role in making this a truly special place.

With the sudden passing of Principal Dr. Barbara Sapienza in March of 2008, then Assistant Principal Thomas DeMaio stepped in as her replacement.  In a time of tragedy, Mr. DeMaio demonstrated great poise, compassion, and care, as he led Pascack Valley High School through a very difficult time.  Now over a decade later, Mr. DeMaio leaves his own legacy on our district with many contributions as principal.

Mr. DeMaio's vision for what instruction with technology would look like, coupled with his willingness to let faculty and students try new things, led to an environment of inquiry and innovation that schools from around the world have come to visit.  Beyond technology, Mr. DeMaio has been instrumental in growing our extra-curricular and athletic program offerings, providing students more opportunities to get involved and discover their passion.  In addition, Mr. DeMaio was a leader in expanding our Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and Internship programs, helping students reach new heights in preparing for college, career, and life after Pascack Valley.

Photo: Mr. DeMaio (far right) with the 2019-2020 Senior AP Scholars
Photo: Mr. DeMaio (far right) with the 2019-2020 Senior AP Scholars
Photo Credit: Stephanie Tomaselli

Above all, Mr. DeMaio places an unparalleled emphasis on Student Wellness.  Taking a holistic view of the student, Mr. DeMaio has worked tirelessly to promote a positive school culture for all.  Whether it is allowing art students to paint murals on the walls, championing the start of our Student Wellness Center, or embracing and promoting the idea of “Valley Cup,” Mr. DeMaio always looks for ways for students to not only feel good about their studies, but feel good about themselves.  Recognizing that feeling good is contagious, Mr. DeMaio has encouraged, supported, and promoted the notion of our students embracing social causes together as classes, clubs, and as individuals.  These lessons of helping those less fortunate might be the best lessons our students ever learn while attending our schools. 

Mr. DeMaio has introduced countless ideas that have developed into initiatives and programs helping our entire community.  His passion and honesty have led to incredibly productive conversations on education - conversations I will miss dearly.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Mr. DeMaio as he enters into the next chapter of his life.  We wish him nothing but good health and happiness as he will now have more time to enjoy with his wife and family.

In the upcoming weeks, we will appoint an interim principal for Pascack Valley High School.  This appointment will provide stable leadership for the remainder of the school year while we perform a complete and exhaustive search for the next principal of Pascack Valley.  We look to complete the search and announce his permanent replacement in the spring of 2020, with an anticipated start of July 1.

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