Principal Chiaravalloti envisions active leadership in St. Ann School
By EmmaLee Italia | CorrespondentSalavatore Chiaravalloti calls his appointment as principal of St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, a great honor.
“I am privileged to be able to lead St. Ann School and continue to guide its growth,” he said.
With a background in teaching, technology and administration, the skills and experience Chiaravalloti will bring to the job would be attractive to any school. But the aspect of faith in the classroom is another key component he will support with his leadership.
“I was educated in Catholic school,” he said. “My mom was a public school teacher and administrator who always emphasized the importance of our faith. Being able to lead not just a Catholic school but St. Ann School is a blessing. I am excited for the work that lies ahead.”
Employed since 2013 as vice principal of St. Paul School, Princeton – where he was affectionately known as “Mr. C” by students and staff – Chiaravalloti wore various hats. As head of technology, he helped develop and maintain a user-friendly school website and establish the upper school 1:1 Surface program. He served as director of teaching and learning, mentoring and guiding teachers through the N.J. Provisional Teacher program; as accreditation and curriculum coordinator, as well as fulfilling general administrator responsibilities.
Prior to St. Paul School, he served as chief innovation officer from 2012 to 2013 in Newton Street School, Newark – a position that provided visionary leadership and faculty and staff support, with additional administrative, curriculum and testing coordinator responsibilities. From 2001 to 2012, he was a social studies teacher and lead science teacher in Wilson Avenue School, Newark.
Chiaravalloti was drawn to St. Ann School for several reasons, including its staff, parent community and students. Having attended multiple workshops hosted at the school, he was able to observe the student body in various capacities, and was always impressed.
“The post of principal is the opportunity to come in and see things through a new perspective, provide insight, and continue to grow the wonderful programs offered at the school,” he reflected. “Being a principal provides the opportunity for daily interactions with staff, students and parents, while gaining feedback and being able to use that feedback and observations to guide change and growth.”
Chiaravalloti envisions being an active leader in classrooms, on the playground, interacting with students, parents and teachers as often as possible.
“I am the type of person who likes to make observations and take things in before making judgements or decisions,” he said, “and feel that will be a guiding principle of my leadership.”
While he has various initiatives in mind for St. Ann School, Chiaravalloti believes it is more important first to see the school in action, both students and teachers, before implementing any changes.
“I look forward to working with the technology teacher and science teachers in using the new STREAM space and best use of the finished science room,” he noted.
Catholic education is important and distinct from public education, Chiaravalloti explained, because it allows educators to mold students’ faith and develop disciples to further spread the Christian message.
“Working with parents in strengthening their faith is another opportunity we have as Catholic educators,” he pointed out. “One of the bigger differences between Catholic and public education is the ability to share openly in our beliefs, and to also use the way of Christ as a guide for ourselves and our students. Academically we … are able to focus more on the whole child instead of standardized assessment.”