The Tornadoes have a new leader.
Assistant Principal Tim Russo was appointed principal of Harborfields High School Tuesday night at a board of education meeting.
Russo has been a part of the district for 15 years now, holding several roles over that time as an athletic coach, social studies teacher, student manager, and assistant principal.
“I think my experience in the district, being here so long, gave me an understanding of the culture of the district and the school itself,” Russo said of why he thinks he makes a good fit for the job.
Russo said he’s enjoyed his time at Harborfields and he feels like his time spent there has been an ideal scenario.
“This is the first district I ever worked in, and I couldn’t really see myself ever leaving the district,” he said. “I’m just so happy here. And this is a perfect fit for me; it felt like everything kind of aligned. You’re in the spot that you’d love to be, you get the opportunity to move forward professionally and continue to work still with all of your closest friends and colleagues.”
Current Principal Dr. Rory J. Manning is leaving the position to take over for Francesco Ianni as assistant superintendent for administration and human resources next year. And Ianni is leaving his post to become superintendent of the district, as it was announced earlier this year that Diana Todaro would be retiring in 2017.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Mr. Russo these past years in his roles as teacher, student manager and assistant principal,” Todaro said in a letter to the district. “I wish Mr. Russo much success in his new role and I am extremely confident that he will lead the high school through many new initiatives, in addition to ensuring the high standards of excellence.”
Ianni has been working with Russo for years, originally when Ianni was an assistant principal at the high school and Russo only just a social studies teacher there.
“He’s a great guy with an outstanding personality that works well with kids and the faculty,” Ianni said in a phone interview. “He’s been a great teacher, and coach, and in all of the communities here, he is very well respected. It’s always difficult to bring a great school to next level, but he has the ingredients to be successful and to provide students with the necessary support to go to the next level.”
Russo said is he up to the challenge of bringing the high school to that next level.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to take the school from being outstanding to maybe just a little bit more outstanding,” he said. “I want to be a guide, to lead the faculty and let them understand that we’re confident in everything we do in the buing and we just want to continue to do the right thing for the kids and make sure we continue to be great.”
Alex Petroski contributed reporting.