Derek Piccini approved as another new Hills assistant principal

The Trailblazer will be interviewing him for more information about his position, appointment, and previous experience in the next week.


Briana Keenan

From left to right: BOE secretary Yas Usami, BOE president Joseph Blundo, and interim superintendent Daniel Fishbein.

@VPPiccini on Twitter
A photo of Piccini from his public Twitter account.

Derek Piccini was approved to be another new assistant principal for Pascack Hills at the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education’s regular meeting on Monday night.  

The Trailblazer will be interviewing him for more information about his position, appointment, and previous experience in the next week.


Mark Russo, district supervisor of diversity, equity, and inclusion, presented the school climate survey results. The survey was administered to students, staff, parents, and caretakers throughout the month of April. The school climate team, composed of both student and staff volunteers, met a total of seven times to discuss findings. 

Russo stated, “The New Jersey School Climate Improvement Survey was designed to help schools obtain multiple perspectives on aspects of school climate, with the goal of helping us better understand strengths and needs in our schools.”

Following his presentation, two student representatives from Hills gave recommendations that were separated into two categories: diversity and social and emotional learning. 

One of the students stated, “We want groups who did not score as high on the survey to feel like they are accepted at Hills. This would decrease bullying and increase student sense of belonging.”

Earlier in the meeting, BOE members acknowledged different students and staff members for various aspects. Interim superintendent Daniel Fishbein handed out their respective awards. 

Senior Hilary Siegel was this year’s BOE student representative for Hills. In this position, she gave monthly reports to the BOE about updates at Hills. Members recognized her efforts for each meeting. 

Briana Keenan
Siegel and Fishbein with her BOE student representative plaque.

“It’s really good…and helpful to hear what’s going on in the school,” said BOE president Joseph Blundo. 

Recently, the 2021-22 Outstanding Support Staff Member was announced by Hills principal Tim Wieland. For Hills, it was awarded to Marnee Rosen, who is a teacher assistant for the special services department.

Briana Keenan
Fishbein and Rosen with her 2021-22 Outstanding Support Staff Member plaque.

In December, the annual recognition of Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year was announced. At Hills, science teacher James Soltman and psychologist Brittany Punim were selected for these awards, respectively. The BOE acknowledged them at the meeting.

Briana Keenan
Soltman and Fishbein with his Teacher of the Year plaque.
Briana Keenan
Punim and Fishbein with her Educational Services Professional of the Year certificate.

One final recognition made by the BOE was for the staff at the end of the year. From Hills, Mary Lou Corbett, Janet Donaghy, Stephanie Mendelson, and Martin Shields are retiring.