A Greeting from the New Superintendent…
Greetings to the Westampton Schools community! My name is Anthony Petruzzelli, and I am honored to be the new Superintendent of Westampton Township Schools. I look forward to meeting many of you through the course of the school year, but wanted to tell you about myself and my thoughts on education.
I started my career in public education in 1991 as a middle school teacher. My first administrative positions were as an assistant principal and principal of Erial Elementary School in Gloucester Township. I spent 8 years at Erial before being promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Gloucester Township Schools. I was in that position for 7 years and have spent the last 5 in Williamstown as Assistant Superintendent. Most of my career has been in PreK-8 districts and, in coming to Westampton, I truly feel like I am coming home. My schooling has been all in New Jersey. My undergraduate work was at Rutgers-Camden, my graduate work was done at Rowan University, and received my doctorate from Seton Hall University.
I have been fortunate to work with some exceptional educators along my journey and they have taught me many things. So, I bring a wealth of experiences with me including large and small districts, K-8 and K-12 districts, elementary and middle school experience, and having been taught by some of the best mentors you could want. But just as importantly, I bring a genuine desire to do what is best for your children.
I believe in the awesome power of public schools. I believe that our responsibility, as parents, community members, and educators, is to do more than teach subjects. Our job is to “build” happy, healthy, productive citizens. I think about all the world has to offer and all the challenges the world brings. The paths that our children take are both fraught with danger and full of promise. The most troubled teen once sat right next to the most promising graduate when they were in Kindergarten. Our choices matter every day and our kids count on us to put them on the right path.
Being happy means more than getting great grades. It means recognizing the beauty and complexity of the world and the universe. It means appreciating others with talent and enjoying watching them perform in sports and theater. It means enjoying books and other media to get lost in tales. It means being curious about the past and wanting to learn more.
Being healthy means more than being physically fit. It means to be mentally healthy and to know how to handle emotional challenges. It means to understand sympathy and empathy so we treat others well. It means to know how to take care of your body, mind, and spirit and how to look out for others.
Being productive means more than an honest day’s work. It means being fulfilled in your work. It means chasing your passion. It means having the skills and knowledge to be marketable in your chosen field. It means feeling that you are contributing to making the world a better place.
Being a citizen means more than following the rules. It means understanding the power of democracy and the importance of civilized debate. It means being able to listen to others and consider their opinions with thoughtful reflection. It means understanding that the world continues to get smaller and smaller and that all lives are intertwined.
So, when I say our job is to make healthy, happy, productive citizens, I’m saying we really have a hard job ahead of us! But it is a job worth doing. It is a job to be proud of. I encourage you to get to know your child’s teachers and your school’s principal. Within those walls is where the magic happens. No one in the school system is more important than the teacher and I will do all I can to support their efforts. I look forward to working with you, the community, and the staff here at Westampton School District to create those healthy, happy, productive citizens of the future. Go Giants!