By: Melissa A. Kay
West Orange Public Schools is pleased to welcome Dr. Scott Cascone as their new school superintendent. The 11 schools in the system, grades kindergarten through 12 will be under his supervision, and Cascone is delighted to start the school year as West Orange Public Schools’ superintendent.
Prior to this new role as superintendent, Cascone served as Executive Director of Academics for the Old Bridge Township Public Schools. He resides in Monmouth County and is married with three children. Cascone attended both Seton Hall University in New Jersey and The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ever since he began his career in public education 20 years ago and went back for his doctorate, it was Cascone’s long term goal to become a school superintendent. This milestone was years in the making, now Cascone can use his education and experience to make a difference in the lives of the students and staff.
Cascone is more than ready to represent this district, as he explains what makes it stand out, “The beautiful diversity, history and traditions, outstanding academic and extracurricular programs, dedicated staff and talented students.” With this proud and positive outlook about the West Orange region, the students and staff in these schools are privileged by such heartfelt expression from the man they’ll instantly admire.
As he takes on this new position, Cascone is geared up for the road ahead, which is sure to be rewarding. What is he most excited about? “Injecting an overarching tone of hope, positivity, and optimism for all stakeholders. As West Orange is in many ways a microcosm of our larger society, making this school community a model of the amazing things that can happen when people come together around a common cause, in this case the education and fortification of the community’s youngsters,” he so eloquently shares. Naturally, there will be challenges, but Cascone is confident he can overcome such obstacles if and when they do arise. He explains, “In a large organization, it is important, albeit challenging to establish consistency in our practices while maintaining some level of individual and school autonomy.” That said, with Cascone’s experience and attitude, achievement is attainable at any level.
Both short and long term goals are already in the works for this savvy superintendent. He says, “This year is all about building confidence with stakeholders and building positive momentum. Emphasizing and helping all stakeholders recognize and perhaps rediscover the joy of the amazing work we do every day. In the future, (I plan to) create robust systems of support for staff and parents and help foster school environments where all, not some or most students feel excited about coming every day.” Schools need more leaders like this, encouraging students to look forward to learning and actually loving it. Parents will be just as passionate, as will the staff as they see new hope on the horizon.
Cascone is honored, yet humble. He realizes his responsibilities and how his job is high-level and overarching. With great preparation, Cascone is set to bring the community together classroom by classroom, but fully understands that he is by no means the only person who can create change for the better and keep what’s already great going strong. “Sometimes when I visit schools and classrooms, the teachers will very kindly introduce me as a ‘very important person.’ Of course, I appreciate that and I suppose on some level that is true. However, my response typically is, the students are the most important people along with the professionals who serve them every day. Staying grounded in that truth, remaining humble as a leader, and remembering that leadership is about service to others are the core values on which my philosophy is based.” Sounds like West Orange has a superintendent that is not only smart, but self-aware and special.