Charles Tadduni

When Charles Tadduni first became principal of Rondout Valley Junior High School (RVJHS), teachers and staff reported low morale and a lack of trust in the school’s capacity to hold students accountable to behavioral norms. In the five years since, Tadduni has taken bold action to redress these concerns. Through targeted professional development, passionate instructional leadership, and the successful implementation of PBIS, RVJHS has seen a 20% reduction in behavioral referrals and vast improvements in team morale under his leadership. Central to this success is Tadduni’s belief in education for the whole child. Following a dramatic increase in the number of students from low-income families, Tadduni set out to educate teachers and staff about the social and educational impacts of living in poverty, while also introducing perspectives and modalities to creatively address potential academic barriers stemming from those conditions. For example, RVJHS has incorporated mindfulness philosophy by offering yoga as an alternative to competitive physical education and creating a Mindfulness Room to provide students daily access to a safe space for quiet reflection. Tadduni has also secured a farm-to-school grant to create multiple learning gardens and is working to incorporate restorative justice as a core value in the school’s disciplinary protocol. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from SUNY-New Paltz and School Building Leader Certification from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.