The South Orange Maplewood Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Lydia Furnari as the district’s new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction on Wednesday. Dr. Furnari is currently Director of Curriculum in the Montclair Public Schools (MPS).
In recommending Furnari for the position, Superintendent Brian G. Osborne said: “Throughout her career, Dr. Furnari has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, dedication to all students, and an ability to consistently put students first in every decision or situation. She will be a tremendous addition to South Orange Maplewood School District as we continue our work to expand learning opportunities and engage and challenge all students to reach their fullest potential.”
Furnari brings a broad base of experience as district administrator, school principal, and teacher. She served as a music educator in Paterson and Montclair for fourteen years. In Elizabeth, she worked with staff, students and parents to create a new school that became one of just six in the U.S. to win the National School Change Award in 2004. Furnari then led the improvement of instructional programs in all curricular areas across the Elizabeth Public Schools as district Director of Elementary & Secondary Education.
From 2008-2011, Furnari served as the Supervisor of Curriculum in Montclair, and in 2011 was promoted to Director of Curriculum. Her responsibilities include leadership in all curricular areas, instructional design and implementation, and professional development. Furnari created and implemented a strategic plan for assessment for MPS, and expanded the use of technology resources for students and teachers. She also created an online teacher portal which provides access to MPS K-12 curriculum documents in every discipline.
Furnari mentors aspiring administrators as an adjunct faculty member at Caldwell College for administration and supervision at the graduate level. Furnari leads accreditation teams for the Middle States Association and as a member of the Tri-State Consortium. Furnari earned a BA in Music Education from Montclair State College, an MA in Administration/Supervision from Montclair State University, and a Doctorate of Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Upon her appointment, Furnari commented: "Our children are our future. We must put all of our efforts into crafting exceptional educational experiences that allow children to grow into thinking, creative, responsible and responsive members of our community and of the world. I am honored to serve the students and families of South Orange and Maplewood, and thank Dr. Osborne and the Board for this opportunity."
Dr. Furnari is scheduled to begin her new role on September 1, 2012. Her annual salary will be $148,000, and she will serve as a member of the district’s senior leadership team.