Carly Jacobsen, Administrative Assistant
(845) 691-1010 - Main Office, (845) 691-1039 - Fax
The Highland Central School District Board of Education has appointed Thomas M. Bongiovi as the District’s new superintendent of schools. The trustees voted unanimously to approve the appointment during a Board of Education meeting on February 6, 2018. Bongiovi has been with the District since October 11, 2017, when he was appointed interim superintendent, replacing retired superintendent Deborah Haab.
Bongiovi is no stranger to the responsibilities of a superintendent, having served the Port Jervis City School District in that capacity from 2013 until July 2017. He began his educational career as a social studies teacher, advancing to assistant principal, middle and high school principal, and assistant superintendent for instruction, before moving into the superintendent’s position at Port Jervis.
"Mr. Bongiovi has a full gamut of educational experience, working his way up through the ranks, giving him valuable insight into the educational process,” said Highland Board of Education President Alan Barone.
“His experience is well rounded, with strengths in both curriculum and the financial aspects of school district leadership.” Barone added that the opportunity to have Bongiovi serve as interim during the search process was valuable. “He immediately tackled issues the Board requested and got results. We received positive emails and comments from community members about his performance,” he said.
Ulster BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Charles Khoury led the six-month search process, which was advertised broadly throughout New York and the surrounding states. More than 40 applications for the position, which included video statements from the candidates, were reviewed. Five finalists were invited in for interviews with the Board of Education and then also met with a stakeholder committee. The committee, which was made up of teachers, support staff, administrators, community members, parents, students, and the Town of Lloyd police department, provided feedback on each finalist.
Bongiovi is thrilled to have been selected for the position and is eager to take on new challenges in Highland. “I’ve observed and spoken with many people over the past several months and have been impressed by the positive ‘will do’ attitude everyone possesses,” he said. “Crossing the bridge from ‘can do’ to ‘will do’ gets results, and I’ve consistently seen people who go above and beyond to make a difference. That’s an exciting thing to be a part of.”
Bongiovi’s immediate goals include instituting an “Academic Score Card” to track the District’s progress towards student achievement, continuing awareness and prevention efforts regarding opioid and heroin abuse, and maintaining a positive work environment. “There is a warm, welcoming culture at Highland. I can see the care that faculty and staff have, and I am happy to become a part of that.”
A Long Island native, Bongiovi received a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Education and Political Science from LeMoyne College, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He holds a School Administrator and Supervisor Professional Diploma from Dowling College and a School District Administrator Certificate from East Stroudsburg University.