PV Principal to retire after 18 years


Matt Austin

Pascack Valley Principal Tom DeMaio will be retiring in January after becoming the principal during the 2007-2008 school year, according to the agenda for the Board of Education’s regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 28. DeMaio has worked at PV for 18 years.

(Editor’s Note: Updates were added to this article at 10 p.m. following the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 28.)

Matt Austin
District Superintendent Erik Gundersen speaks about Pascack Valley Principal Tom DeMaio’s retirement at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 28.

District Superintendent Erik Gundersen said Tom DeMaio has been a “dedicated, thoughtful, compassionate, and motivated person” in leading Pascack Valley. 

“He has really accelerated what we were able to do at Pascack Valley to extreme heights,” Gundersen said at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 28. “Everything from technology integration, the extension of AP programs, and the driving athletic and co-curricular program for students.”

After 12 years as PV’s principal, DeMaio is set to retire by Jan. 1, according to the agenda for the Board of Education’s regular meeting for Oct. 28. The BOE approved DeMaio’s resignation at the meeting.

“I’ve been here for over 25 years,” Gundersen said. “For most people, I can go back to when they first started. I have a lot of really good memories with Mr. DeMaio, and I also have memories of how he helped Pascack Valley move through some really tough stuff, including recently and issues we’ve had over the last couple of years.”

Gundersen said he is sending a “temporary solution” for the beginning of January until the end of June, as well as the process of looking for a permanent principal, in an email to the district on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

“The [long term] process will be outlined in the upcoming weeks,” Gundersen said. “We have to go through everything about how we advertise, who’s going to be on what aspect of the interviewing process and committee, and if we are going to have parents, students, teachers, and administrators play a role in this process.”

Matt Austin
Board of Education member and parent of a PV student and alum Joseph Blundo states the impact of Pascack Valley Principal Tom DeMaio on the school.

DeMaio, originally the PV Assistant Principal since 2002, took over Barbara Sapienza’s position as principal after she passed away in the middle of the 2007-2008 school year. Before PV, DeMaio taught at Elmwood Park for seven years and became the Assistant Principal at Leonia High School for two years.

“Mr. DeMaio stepped in at a very difficult time and kept the school going,” said Joseph Blundo, a BOE member and a parent of a PV student and alum. “The school spirit that resonated with his tenure is unparalleled.”

DeMaio informed the PV community of his retirement in an email on Monday, Oct. 28.

“I would like to thank everyone, especially every student for making my time here at PV an amazing experience,” DeMaio said.