HomeDelran NewsDelran board of ed: 'Dr. Della Vecchia brings a unique skill set'

Delran board of ed: ‘Dr. Della Vecchia brings a unique skill set’

After an extensive school superintendent search with community input, a familiar face will remain.

The Delran Township board of education approved the appointment of Dr. Lisa Della Vecchia as superintendent under terms and conditions negotiated between the board’s counsel and Della Vecchia at a meeting on June 18.

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Della Vecchia had been serving as interim head since Superintendent Dr. Brian Brotschul left the district in the summer of 2023. Her annual salary at the time was $175,000.

“Dr. Della Vecchia brings a unique skill set, which will be a tremendous asset in continuing to move our district in the correct direction,” the board said in a message on posted on the district website.

By virtue of her eight years in the district, Della Vecchia has seen and participated in the growth and success the district has achieved over the last decade, the board noted.

“Coupling this experience with her vision and outlook for the district’s future, she is the best choice to maintain and enhance the district and its goals heading into the future,” the board post added.

Della Vecchia expressed in a message to her staff “deepest gratitude and privilege” on the appointment.

“It is with immense humility and excitement that I accept this responsibility,” she said in the message. “Entering my eighth year in Delran, I am honored to serve the staff, students, and community.”

The superintendent search process began in January, led by Mike Kuchar and Brian Zychowski of Strategic Educational Advantage LLC.

Delran schools educate approximately 3,000 students from pre-K to 12 in four buildings. The board sought candidates who would: possess a sophisticated understanding of teaching and learning to promote the importance of continuous improvement; foster a positive and professional climate of mutual trust and respect among faculty, staff, students, administrators, board members and the community; be a leader who is inspirational, motivational and caring and builds on the successes of the district; demonstrate leadership and fiscal experience; and create, develop and maintain partnerships with families and the school community.

Della Vecchia shared with The Delran Sun her focus for the next school year.

“My focus for the ’24-’25 school year will remain on academic excellence, continuing to address closing the performance gaps with all our students and maintaining our existing structures to support exceptional, distinctive, and engaging learning experiences where every student can flourish academically, socially, and emotionally,” she explained in her message.

“Delran remains devoted to nurturing well-rounded students who are prepared to make a positive impact in society.”

Della Vecchia addressed the national teacher shortage.

“… Delran has lost talented teachers and administrators over the last few years,” she acknowledged. “Our teachers are the heart of our educational community, and their dedication and expertise are essential in shaping the future of our students. In Delran, we are committed to fostering an environment where our teachers and administrators feel valued, supported, and empowered.

“We recognize that retaining talented educators is crucial for maintaining continuity and excellence in education.”

Lastly, Della Vecchia will focus on connecting with parents, community members and stakeholders.

“Raising responsible young people is hard work, and you cannot do this work alone,” she admitted. “I wish to embark on parent partnerships to support our students and entire school community. Our students are facing unique challenges in our society and the only way to ensure their success (is) to partner with our home, community and school connections.”

Della Vecchia began her teaching career in New York City’s Harlem, where her passion to work with children was ignited. Back in New Jersey, she worked for the state education department, focusing on whole-school reform, special education and early-childhood education, according to the press release from the Delran district.

Della Vecchia also held leadership positions at Hamilton Township, Mercer County schools, initially overseeing all federal grants across the district, then becoming principal at Yardville Heights Elementary School.

Della Vecchia was appointed director of student services for Delran in 2017, then became assistant superintendent five years later. Her work in the township has focused on enhancing mental-health support and increased school counseling, developing protocols and staff training for crisis intervention and developing capital projects to educate the district’s most vulnerable learners.

Della Vecchia’s leadership has enhanced the continuity of programming to meet ongoing student needs, according to the district release. She has a bachelor’s from Pace University, a master’s degree from New York University and a doctorate from Wilmington University, and is an active member of several professional organizations.

Along with her appointment, the board approved a number of appointments at the June meeting. These include:

  • Brian Stolairck as the principal of Delran High School, effective Aug. 1 at a salary of $150,000.
  • Betty Jo Prince as the interim assistant superintendent of student services for 20 days, effective since June 24 at a rate of $600 per day.
  • Dennis Land as the assistant principal of Delran Middle School, at an annual base salary of $102,584. A start date will be determined.
  • Brett McLaughlin as the assistant principal of Delran Intermediate School, with an annual base salary of $88,872, that was effective July 1.

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