New Frank Buglione has been to the moon.
Students in the Rahway School District, where he worked for 38 years before retiring in 2010, had a goal to read enough books to "send him to the moon" and eventually got him there. He worked in various positions in the district, including as vice principal, principal and director of curriculum and instruction, before working as superintendent for four years. After he retired, he would visit the schools and students teased that he managed to travel back from the moon rather quickly.
Buglione started his career in education as an elementary school teacher, teaching sixth grade in 1972. He has also taught middle school grade levels.
Despite visiting the Rahway district, Buglione said he missed working in the schools and when he saw the position for the in , he applied.
"The three days a week, it helps ease you back into it, so to speak," he said.
A Clifton resident, Buglione said he has had a nice time getting to know the Bloomingdale community in his first week with the district.
"It's a wonderful community," he said. "It's very small and you can probably get to know everybody in the schools."
Buglione has had a hand in many accomplishments he was proud of in Rahway and is hoping to continue them in Bloomingdale. In 2009, he helped the Rahway district garner community support for a $34 million capital projects referendum. Several capital improvements have already been approved for this year in Bloomingdale.
"There's a lot of projects going on this summer and I think there's a lot more that can be done," he said.
But Buglione's main priority is to continue to improve education in the district, particularly in the area of literacy. He said he will take a close look at professional development programs district staff members participate in and hopes to strengthen the literacy program. Additionally, Buglione emphasized science and technology instruction in Rahway and feels those areas are important in education.
"That's really the future," he said.
He also acknowledged that there will be challenges in the upcoming year and said he has experience facing them head on.
"The hard part about being superintendent is you have to make those decisions," he said.
Buglione has already met with the teachers' union and said he hopes to encourage a positive negotiations process. The teachers are at an impasse with the board of education in the neogotiations currently.
"I always encourage the board to be as fair as possible with [the teachers]," he said. "If you can walk out of the room in negotiations and even shake hands and feel like you both got something, it's a win-win."
Buglione's wife, Elizabeth, is a registered nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson and a school nurse in Clifton. His son, Christopher, and daughter, Lauren, are both graduates of Montclair State University.