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Superintendent of Schools

 Dr. Richard A. Spirito

Superintendent of Schools

Follow me on Twitter: @rspirito11

Phone: 973-427-1300 Ext. 2088

Address: Hawthorne Public Schools
445 Lafayette Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506

Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. Elementary Education, William Paterson College
M.A. Administration and Supervision, Montclair State University
Ed.D., Leadership, Management, and Policy, Seton Hall University


A Message from the Superintendent of Schools

Dear Parents/Community Members:

Welcome to the Hawthorne Public Schools!

It is with great pride and excitement that I begin another school year as the proud Superintendent of the Hawthorne Public Schools.

As a lifelong resident of Hawthorne, I’m familiar with our wonderfully close-knit community of students, parents, and staff. We are also fortunate to have a Board of Education that is committed to providing the highest quality education while being sensitive to the community's economic needs. As the Superintendent of Schools, I look forward to continuing my partnership with our team of dedicated administrators, our hardworking and talented teachers, committed support staff, and supportive families and community members.

Hawthorne is a student-centered pre-kindergarten through grade twelve public school district. Our district serves approximately 2300 students in six schools; Hawthorne High School, Lincoln Middle School, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Washington Elementary Schools, HOPE program, and our Bear Cave 18 - 21-year-old transition program. The Hawthorne Public Schools endeavors to provide a safe and challenging learning environment that will develop a love of learning and enable every child to reach their full potential. We also hope our teachers' love of learning will be contagious and assist in developing knowledge, skills, and academic achievement.

The Hawthorne School District has always aligned instructional practices with high academic standards. Our highly qualified professional teaching staff uses research-based, effective teaching strategies to address our students’ learning needs. Our instructional models include teacher-directed learning, student-led learning, cooperative learning activities, independent learning activities, reading and writing across the curriculum, differentiated instruction, and assessment opportunities for all students.

In the area of curriculum, administrators and teachers work together with our Supervisors and Director of Education to update the district curriculum and programs to remain on the cutting edge of educational issues. To this end, the Hawthorne School District is continuing its transition to a comprehensive, balanced literacy program for students at all grade levels. Staff Development and support are also extensive and ongoing in the Hawthorne Public Schools. We continue to provide learning opportunities and training for our faculty throughout the school year.

As technology becomes increasingly important globally, it continues to be a priority in the Hawthorne Public Schools. Our professional dialogues include the topic of technology infusion in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Our one-to-one Chromebooks initiative in grades 6-12 and our classroom sets of Chromebooks and Ipads at the elementary schools are frequently incorporated into classroom lessons to enhance instruction. In addition, we employ the use of Epson Interactive projectors in our classrooms, and the district supports Television Production and Broadcasting classes and a fully functional MakerSpace at Hawthorne High School and Lincoln Middle School. Finally, we are excited about our STEM Lab at Lincoln Middle School and our newly renovated Art, Science, Culinary, and Music classrooms and Media Center at Hawthorne High School.

Partnering with parents is a vital practice in the Hawthorne Public Schools, and the students in Hawthorne benefit from this unique partnership. The parents, teachers, and administration work to ensure that all students learn and meet their individualized goals. Our schools also have strong and supportive parent associations, an active education foundation, Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and the relationship between the schools, the Hawthorne Police Department, and the Mayor and Council is excellent.

Keeping parents and other stakeholders informed is another essential element in maintaining support for our schools. We hope our district and school websites will assist in this effort to communicate with our parents and the Hawthorne community. We also host Twitter, Facebook, and an Instagram account where we post important information about our school district.  As we strive to provide easily accessible and up-to-date information, please feel free to contact us about how we can improve our website to serve your needs better.

Please feel free to contact me at with any questions you may have about our school district.

Dr. Richard A. Spirito
Superintendent of Schools