News Around the Rock

Principal Arlotta retires from Glen Rock High School


January 13, 2020

Dear Glen Rock Community:


I am writing to inform you all that I will be retiring as of July 1, 2020. I have thoroughly enjoyed my thirty-seven years as an educator, the last nine as principal of this amazing high school. I will certainly miss each of you, but look forward to the next part of our lives, as my family relocates to Florida this summer.

As I reflect on our years together, I am very proud of all that we have accomplished. The accolades we have received, recognizing our school as one of the top schools in New Jersey and the United States, are certainly deserved and a result of a great team, working together, to be the best that we could be. Our selection, last year, as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, was a humbling experience and one I will never forget.

We have made many enhancements that have better prepared our students for future success. Generally, our move to a Rotating Drop-Schedule, our adoption of a One to One laptop program and the implementation of our learning management system, Schoology, have all contributed greatly to our overall aim for college and career readiness. As a result, I have observed more student-centered, technology-infused classrooms. Our teachers have employed a multitude of instructional strategies and our students have taken more ownership of their learning. We have been able to delve deeper into our curriculum with longer class periods and the rotation, with a common lunch, has allowed us to maintain rigor while reducing some of the pressures on our students and teachers.

Our Advanced Placement participation has risen significantly, by relaxing criteria and providing more opportunities for our students to challenge themselves with college-level courses. Our dual enrollment partnerships with colleges such as Rutgers, Fairleigh Dickenson and Syracuse have also increased these opportunities. New courses, such as Dynamics of Health Care, The Graphic Novel, Introduction to Business, Computer Science, Anatomy & Physiology, AP English Language, AP World History, Social Justice and Broadcast Media, have allowed our students more opportunities to explore their areas of interest. I am particularly proud of the expansion of our Business and World Language programs.

We have also increased opportunities for our students to explore their passions outside of the classroom in competitions such as Robotics and DECA. We have added a significant amount of clubs, many, student-initiated. Perhaps my favorite clubs are those that have helped others, such as Pathways, 7-Elements, and Alliance. We have been able to transition our award-winning school newspaper, The Glen Echo on-line and have increased communication with our on-going broadcasts of Under the Rock. We have been leaders with Social Media, such as Twitter and Instagram. We have been able to host a multitude of performances via our Theatre Company, concerts, art shows and Musicals such as Legally Blonde. Athletically, we have added programs in cheerleading and increased opportunities for our bowling, wrestling, and ice hockey teams.

We have vastly upgraded our facilities both inside and out. We have renovated our entrance, Hamilton Lobby, and Senior Lounge. We have enhanced our science labs and art classrooms. We have added a Finance Lab and Fitness Center. Most recently, we upgraded our English Hallway, with artwork reflecting some of the novels and themes we study. We added two turf fields, upgraded our baseball and softball fields and added tennis courts. We have added beautiful courtyards, some with water features, chickens and my favorite turtle! I look forward to hearing about the renovated Media Center and new broadcast studio added this summer. We have significantly improved security with greeters, a swipe-entry system and added surveillance.

I take particular pride in the many fine teachers, who have joined our Glen Rock High School family. I have found our teachers always willing to go the extra mile for our students. I have appreciated your professionalism, talent, and loyalty. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with our students. They are generous, goal-oriented and extremely mature. We have done great things together and I always find it affirming when they come back to visit, telling me how well our school has prepared them. I want to thank the many parents I have encountered, who support education and have trusted us with their most valuable resources. I do want to thank the many administrative assistants, custodians, maintenance staff, superintendents, fellow administrators, central office staff and Boards of Education for their support and sharing in this vision over the years. Despite some changes in personnel periodically, their dedication has remained constant.

I have been fortunate to have work with assistant principals during my time, who have been more than colleagues, but true friends. We have shared many challenges and more than a few laughs. I especially want to thank my wife Grace and sons Shawn and Cayden, who have embraced this high school, understood the time away from them that this job requires and were always there to share in our school’s triumphs.

In closing, I want to wish you all well. Please stay in touch and nothing would make me happier than for Glen Rock High School to maintain or surpass the excellence we have all achieved together.

With Love and Gratitude,

John Arlotta

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