>Construction a priority for Glen Rock’s school leader
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
BY EVONNE COUTROS
GLEN ROCK — David C. Verducci, 55, is getting settled into his new job as Glen Rock schools superintendent, starting a five-year contract in July. Verducci, of Upper Saddle River, was hired from a field of 40 candidates and will be paid $225,000 a year. He was the chief school administrator in River Vale since 2004 and served as superintendent in Fairview since 1992.
Q. What is a priority in the school district?
The [$45.3 million] renovation and construction. The high school and the middle school are in serious need, physically. The town passed the referendum project last year and that was pretty forward-thinking considering the economic atmosphere. People in Glen Rock have a clear sense of the schools as an investment and recognize they are quality places and also realize that to maintain that, it was time to do some big work.
Q. You are considered a superintendent who isn’t shy about using and relying on data to measure student progress. True?
Part of my presentation to the faculty is you have to deal with balance. It’s quality and quantity, efficiency, effectiveness, cooperation, competition. … So when I look at data-driven decision-making, you bet I study the numbers, but I study it in terms of student achievement and budget, but, it always has to be counterbalanced by the human factors.
Q. Do you believe it’s correct that you’re perceived as a data-driven superintendent?
If you use it right. There’s the problem with people who go only by the numbers. … I did my Ph.D. in organizational analysis and qualitative analysis. You have to be really careful not to extrapolate and over-extrapolate. What’s Freud’s great line? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Q. You have spent almost all of your more than 30 years as a teacher, vice principal, elementary principal and superintendent in Bergen County. Are you being choked by state mandates?
We don’t play fast and loose with the rules. I may not always like the rules, but the fact of the matter is if the state [Education Department] has the right to make them, we’ll live by them. It doesn’t mean that I won’t do my best to have them changed working through state organizations but no, we live by them. And that I insist on.
Q. How do you perceive the district?
There are no fatal flaws here. It’s not maximizing its full potential. I want to make Glen Rock the place where other people want to be. There has to be organizational integration … getting all the pieces to work together. What the district really needs to take off is just to have a unifying sense of vision.