New Assistant Superintendent Serving as Advocate for Students, Families, and Staff

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After three months as Vineland school district's Assistant Superintendent for Administration, John Frangipani is settled in his new role, providing services for students, families, principals, and the central office administrative team.
Frangipani, whose career has spanned three decades, said, "It's going very well, I'm very happy to be here. I find myself doing work I've done before and I've also learned a lot about the Vineland school district."
The new administrator works closely with the central office team that includes Superintendent Dr. Mary Gruccio, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Insturcition Nathan Frey, and Executive Director of Human Resources Dr. Joseph Rossi. Frangipani's role designates him as an advocate for parents, teachers, principals, and community members.
"I find myself doing a lot of work with parents and helping them navigate the system; making sure that if they have a problem at the school level that they're using all avenues to resolve them," he said. "I also work closely with the superintendent to make sure that the agenda of the district and the board moves forward. I also aid the principals and make sure that with any questions or concerns they have, I can help them navigate central office and get things done. Many times my job is a support role. When someone has issues or concerns, I can answer those questions and give them the guidance they need to move forward."
This is nothing new for Frangipani, who worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and Chief of Operations in Philadelphia for 33 years. During that time, he managed an academic division of 30 schools in a district with more than 240 schools and more than 131,000 students.
Frangipani began his career as an industrial arts teacher in the Philadelphia school system, where he remained for approximately 15 years. After obtaining certification, he moved on to become an assistant principal at a high school in Philadelphia, and then principal at a middle school. After a promotion to Assistant Superintendent, Frangipani found himself overseeing schools in south and southwest Philadelphia. His final role in the Philadelphia school system included a six-year term as Chief of Operations, where he oversaw all the non-instructional operations within the district, including school security, grants, student registration, and more.
"What I've found is that the issues are similar in a number of areas - whether it's an academic issue or behavior issue or parent issue," he said. "Basically, people have the same concerns. They want the best education for their child, teachers want the best teaching situation, and we have to make sure they are getting it. So the belief system is the same, no matter where you are. Budget is always going to be an issue. Equity is always going to be an issue, whether we're giving the best services to all the children."
For two years prior to coming to Vineland, Frangipani was the principal and Chief Executive Officer of City Invincible in Camden, a charter school.
"I had an opportunity to be part of a brand new charter school in Camden, and had a chance to implement all the beliefs I've had over the years about education and build it in my way," said Frangipani. "We found it to be successful and we found it to be rewarding, because we saw we were making a difference in the lives of the children."
Now in Vineland, Frangipani is gearing up to help the district manage more than a dozen schools and 10,000 plus students.
"The biggest challenge is going to be the budget," he said. "There is a deficit that we have to work through. I think we have to make sure that we can keep the level of funding in our classrooms the same and keep the progress moving forward. That means things outside of the classroom will have to be adjusted. We will also have to look for other resources, such as more grant opportunities, where we can make cuts and not affect the habits of the classroom."