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Vitale prepares for role at Pleasant Valley

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    Dr. Margaret Vitale talks to kindergartners Logan Smarro and Charlielynne Santini at Chipperfield Elementary School in Stroudsburg. They are in Rebecca Keller’s class. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS

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Published December 02. 2019 02:16PM


Pleasant Valley School District is getting a second assistant to the superintendent of operations, and she is excited to get started.

“I’m excited to define the role and to get in there and really support Pleasant Valley and the services that they offer,” said Dr. Margaret Vitale.

The position is new to the school district, although it incorporates responsibilities held in past positions. Vitale’s first day is Dec. 11.

Vitale said her foundation is as “a solutions-based person that looks at problems and looks to solve them.”

In fact, her dissertation for her doctoral degree was on collaborative leadership and the social context necessary for collaborative leadership.

“I think getting everybody’s perception and vantage point is super important, down to the students,” she said. “Understanding everybody’s needs and concerns in a situation is really helpful, and although you might not use everyone’s ideas, they all come together to make the solution happen.”

In the weeks leading up to beginning her new job full-time, Vitale has been meeting with heads of departments and other staff to learn about all that is working and the things that she can help improve.

The biggest challenge she said she sees in her new job is building a rapport with co-workers as well as the students, parents, school board and the community, and “building a relationship of trust,” she said.

“They can trust that I’m going to do what I say I’m going to do, and that I’m going to have a positive change, and then gaining respect,” Vitale said. “I would say that’s not Pleasant Valley specific. I would say that’s specific to any new position that you’re involved with.”

The position at Pleasant Valley is a career goal.

“I have always wanted to be able to make change on a greater level,” she said.

“In the classroom, you impact the 25 students that you have. In this building, you impact the 903 students that you have. Now, I will have an impact on over 4,000 students.”

“I believe that I will have a positive impact on processes that really directly support students. It is super important to support students,” she said. “I think being a change agent on a larger level is what really excited me and also joining the Pleasant Valley community.”

Vitale grew up in Stroudsburg and earned her bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University. She has taught in the area and worked in the area, most recently as the principal of Chipperfield Elementary School in Stroudsburg for the past seven years.

She went on to earn a master’s degree and then a doctorate at Drexel University, while working full time. She made her home with her husband in the Pleasant Valley School District several years ago.

She said she loves being in education and will miss seeing the faces of the children every day at Chipperfield.

“Being in this building, you get to see students from kindergarten through fourth grade grow, mature, develop,” she said. “I will not have that direct contact, that day to day interaction with the same students, so I think that is what I will miss the most.”

Teachers put all of their energy into the students to make sure that they grow academically and develop a healthy a social and emotional life.

“When they prosper, you know you’ve done your job,” she said. “I think that’s the most exciting part of education.”


Dr. Vitale seems to be an experienced "elementary" educator. What concerns me is that she will be in charge of operations. I don't see the level of experience necessary to interact with maintenance, custodial, busing, cafeteria and whatever new building projects are on the horizon. (Let's hope there are none!). The job description is almost duty for duty the same as the position Josh Krebs held before his departure. The Grand Jury's report recommended Pleasant Valley eliminate this jack of all trades position. Please see page 105, item #5 Director of Support Services. "The Grand Jury recommends the position titled Director of Support Services should be evaluated for reconfiguration. The departments currently managed by the Director of Support Services would be better served by splitting them into more directly related and appropriate supervision. This would also remove the possibility of mismanagement of authority which has previously been seen." I think this statement says it all. Sorry Dr. Vitale. This job should never have been "re-created".
Amen Oldtimer78! This article was nothing more than a self serving promo to add to her file of look at me documents. Why do we need two Asst. to the Superintendents? People get hired to do job duties. They knew them when they apply and they know them when they accepted the job. If you can’t handle the heat step down. The taxpayers should not foot the bill to add more administrators because some can’t handle the load they applied and were hired to do.

Nothing in this promo ad shows she is fit for handling building/district operations. We have a Director of Operations hired in the last year. Duplicate position but for more money?
What is wrong with this district? I have no idea why new positions can be made and taxpayers must fall in line. All I know is that 3 members are finally gone and new ones were elected. I hope they do the right thing and evaluate if this position is really needed. Where is the job description? All job descriptions should be on the public website for the taxpayers to see. How many of these administration positions are repeats of duties. We need a no nonsense board President who will work with the board and listen when community members speak. We have right to be heard and get answers.

I am hoping the acting Superintendent reviews these positions and people in administration because the last Super did pretty much nothing but pass his duties onto others. It would be nice to undo the damage that has been done in the last 5 years. There are at least 5 administrators who need to go and even the position too. It is the board’s duty and privilege to not only add but also eliminate positions.

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