Steven A. Forte is the finalist in Verona’s search for a new public schools superintendent. A native of West Orange who is currently principal at Hasbrouck Heights High School, Forte came to Verona Thursday night to meet with the community.
He talked about his background as a teacher and administrator at all levels, as well as some of the programs that he has implemented in the Hasbrouck Heights district, like adding 72 hours of instruction to the high school calendar. No, they’re not keeping kids in the buildings overnight: Forte found ways to shave a little bit of time off non-essential events and put it back into schedule blocks. You can listen to the explanation he gave here.
Forte amped up the education at Hasbrouck Heights in other ways, too, like bringing in college courses like anatomy and accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Seton Hall and Bergen County Community College. Forte’s students paid for their courses, but at a far lower cost than if they were in college. “The cost at Seton Hall is $1,000 a credit,” noted Forte, “but if you take it at high school it’s $75 a credit.” The program was implemented at minimal cost to the district, and encompassed options for the school’s most academically minded students and those focused on careers, like a culinary arts class. Listen to his explanation of the dual credit program below.
Forte voiced support for Verona’s current curriculum plan, but gave hints that he would seek ways to bring in something that many Verona parents, teachers and students have sought: more technology in the classroom. “iPads are the wave of the future,” said Forte. You can listen to his description of how iPads were incorporated into Hasbrouck Heights schools here.
Verona’s Board of Education has submitted Forte’s contract to county authorities for review. Assuming it passes muster, his appointment will be voted on at the November 1 board meeting and he will start after New Year’s. You can watch his Thursday night presentation by clicking on any of the links below.
MyVeronaNJ.com recorded Forte’s presentation. You can watch it, segment by segment, by clicking on the links below.