SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


mrmunozPablo Muñoz

Superintendent of Schools

 

Pablo Muñoz has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Passaic Public Schools since October 2013.  As an experienced instructional leader, he believes that every child should receive a high-quality education in preparation for future success.  Throughout his tenure in Passaic, he has led significant systemic change with the goal of creating a great school system.

 

In his first year as Superintendent, he began a significant reorganization and led the development of setting the district vision and mission. Muñoz continued this pace by working with the Passaic Board of Education to adopt the “Theory of Action: An Aligned Instructional System,” a policy developed to ensure that a framework for district priorities, policies, and decisions would support the business of teaching and learning.  He continued by overseeing a complete revision of the entire district governance manual that included critical policy shifts such as: a revised high school graduation policy requiring additional credits to prepare students for college and careers; a revised promotion/retention policy instituting additional learning time for struggling students; institution of an updated grading and reporting system; and the development of a  comprehensive Code of Student Conduct to provide clarity and consistency across schools.

 

Muñoz has also worked to restructure the district to provide a better school experience for students.  He oversaw a complete district rezoning and realignment across the PreK-6 schools, reducing the number of transitions students were required to make across schools and developing neighborhood school zones.  He led the district to acquire critical spaces that added 35 new classrooms to the district, reducing the severe overcrowding. In 2015, the Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy opened, providing 875 seats for students gifted in academics, physical education, and the performing and visual arts.

 

He has also worked to ensure that instructional programming shifted to increase student engagement through cognitively challenging curricula.  Throughout Passaic, curricula and assessments have been revised to prepare students for college and careers.  At the middle and high school levels, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) courses are now preparing students for college.  He has led a commitment to providing every student the opportunity to graduate high school with 15 college credits and/or a career certification.  This has resulted in an Early College program that has led to dramatic increases in Advanced Placement and dual enrollment course offerings, as well as strengthened partnerships with local colleges and universities. Since 2014, the district has offered before-, after-, and summer school programs that encompass academic, enrichment, and athletic opportunities.

In order to systematize the changes, Muñoz has invested significant resources in providing staff learning opportunities.  Through the adoption of “Instructional Rounds,” district and school leaders and teachers work together to strengthen the district language of instruction.  All district and school leaders participate in a cohort-model community of practice, reading and studying best practices in leadership and teamwork.  Throughout the schools, professional development is placed at a priority, and teachers and administrators are provided with a significant number of opportunities to develop instructional practice throughout the school year.

As a first-generation high school and college graduate, Muñoz’s personal experience fuels his passion for creating high quality school systems.  He graduated from Elizabeth High School, in Elizabeth, NJ in 1987 with academic and athletic merits, including All-State selection in baseball.  He continued to excel at Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Ivy League pitching honors.  He graduated college passionate about supporting students, and began his career in Elizabeth High School as a teacher of social studies.  In addition to his role as a teacher, Muñoz continued his studies at Columbia University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.  He has served as Supervisor, Director, and Assistant Superintendent, before becoming Superintendent of Schools in the Elizabeth Public Schools in May 2005.

During his 8-year tenure in Elizabeth Public Schools, Muñoz led a significant overhaul of the district, resulting in three National Blue Ribbon School awards from the US Department of Education.  He oversaw a significant high school transformation effort culminating in the recognition of two Elizabeth high schools at the state and national level for commitment to preparing students for college with ranking among the best in the state by U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, and the Washington Post Challenge Index.

Muñoz was named 2008 Union County School Superintendent of the Year by the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce and was selected to be a member of the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s 2008 Daring Dozen– a prestigious group of twelve educators “who are reshaping the future of education.”  He has served as a member of the Panasonic Foundation New Jersey Network of Superintendents since 2009.

Most importantly, Muñoz is the son of Luz and Pablo Muñoz, both originally from Aguada, Puerto Rico.  He and his wife, Alanna, are proud parents of two daughters.  He is passionate in his belief that with the right education, every student has the opportunity to succeed.