The legacy of Salvatore Illuzzi

The superintendent has made a real difference in his 17 years with the district.

Cinnaminson Township Public Schools Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi has been with the district for more than 17 years. He was scheduled to retire years ago, but decided to stay to complete the high school reconstruction project, despite being forced to take a $60,000 paycut, as Gov. Christie imposed superintendent salary caps back in 2011. The caps ensured districts with student enrollment between 1,500 and 3,000 students can only earn up to $155,000 annually, plus a small annual stipend. This was a significant drop from Illuzzi’s previous salary of $216,000.

With the high school construction being all but complete, Illuzzi has kept his word to stay with the district until all four schools had undergone improvements. He has not yet announced whether he will be retiring next year.

Illuzzi says his biggest accomplishment since starting at the district in 1999 was restructuring the schools. When Illuzzi came to Cinnaminson Township Public Schools, the schools were completely different than they are today.

In 2001, in one of the biggest changes in the history of the district, Illuzzi convinced the board of education to take New Albany Elementary School, which had previously housed kindergarten through fourth grade, and make it Pre-K through second grade. Eleanor Rush Intermediate School was made to house third through fifth grade, moving the fifth graders out of the middle school and back to Rush. The middle school would be the home of the sixth through eighth graders.

“That changed the district. The competition between the two schools is gone. They all have to work together,” Illuzzi said. “Last year’s graduating class of 2015 — those kids have been together from kindergarten to 12th grade. Think about that. All of them together. When it’s all said and done, that’s going to go down as a legacy.”

Illuzzi had nothing but positive things to say about the district, specifically the staff. Illuzzi says you will not find better people than the staff employed at Cinnaminson Township Public Schools. He has even re-hired some teachers who left for “greener pastures” but ultimately returned, and he has no regrets about doing so.

“Everything I thought they would be, they are,” Illuzzi said. “What you get is an exceptional education, but more importantly, it’s just a great place to move your family, and you just get a great experience.”

Illuzzi added that you’ll see the same students on the school paper as you will in the drama and debate clubs — they’re all over, making for well-rounded individuals.

Illuzzi says the students love it here so much, they eventually move their families back years after graduation to raise their kids in Cinnaminson, because it’s just that great of a district.

“You can walk in that building and I can tell you that every teacher knows every kid, every kid knows every kid, and it is just a throwback to an almost innocent time when people just enjoyed being in one place and knowing that they were in a very special place,” Illuzzi said.