Students Participate in New Principal Search

Welcome Joseph Armental

Covid-19 has prompted sudden changes in the lives of many. Students, teachers, and administrators have struggled with the complexities the virus has added to their daily lives. In November 2021, Benjamin Suro, DMHS principal of two years, left the Englewood school district after many struggles during the pandemic years. Although he did not express the reason for his resignation, it seemed he was ready for a fresh start and he accepted a principalship position at Wood-Ridge Junior/Senior High School, Wood-Ridge, NJ.

 For Joseph Armental, on the other hand, the opportunity to shore up and strengthen DMHS from the ravages of Covid-19 complexities was welcome. Following Mr. Suro’s exit, Mr. Armental, DMHS Athletic Director, stepped up to the plate as interim principal while the Englewood Board of Education (BOE) searched for a new principal by posting the position. But the Board tried something new as well.

For the first time in Englewood history, the BOE decided to include student feedback in what became a decision between two candidates, Jorge Osoria, an administrator from the Kennedy High School in Paterson, NJ, and Mr. Armental.

 “It’s just a different leadership style,” DMHS Superintendent Ronald Bolandi commented. “My leadership style is to include the teachers and the students in these decisions because everyone should have an equal voice in decisions that affect them,” he added.

We need to give students access to their unlimited potential. Therefore, I want to push the students’ voices and academic excellence and create an environment where students can meet their dreams and potential.”

— Joseph Armental

 As a result, on November 19 and 23, 2021, randomly selected students from all grade levels met and interviewed the two candidates. Students learned about Mr. Osoria’s work in the Paterson School district and his involvement in creating better school lunches. They also learned about Mr. Armental’s commitment to Englewood and the longevity of the career he has here. In addition to learning about the candidates, the students had a chance to question them about issues that matter to them, like school lunch quality, racial/gender biases, or the lack of bilingual support. 

 Senior Aika Harris asked Mr. Osoria, “What goals do you have and how would you accomplish them?” Junior Alliana Flores asked, “How will students benefit from your leadership?” 

 After one month of deliberation, the Board announced that interim principal Mr. Armental would become the full-time principal.

 “It was an amazing opportunity for students to have their voices heard. After all, many schools do not give their students a chance to choose a principal, so it was a valuable experience,” junior Ria Vij said.

It was an amazing opportunity for students to have their voices heard. After all, many schools do not give their students a chance to choose a principal, so it was a valuable experience.”

— Junior Ria Vij

Mr. Armental has been in the Englewood district for many years and rose quickly from teacher to vice-principal of the Academies in 2014 and then to athletic director. 

 “I started as a Math teacher in 2006 and I’ve always been amazed by the campus’s tremendous amounts of potential,” explained Mr. Armental. “We need to give students access to their unlimited potential. Therefore, I want to push the students’ voices and academic excellence and create an environment where students can meet their dreams and potential,” Mr. Armental said.

 Mr. Armental is more than qualified for the job and has a passion for students and this campus to succeed and grow.