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WHS Vice Principal, Guidance Supervisor Suspended Pending Investigation

Martin Scarano and Brian Russo have been suspended and the school's principal plans to retire at the end of the school year.

One of Woodbridge High School’s vice principals and its guidance/special education department supervisor have been suspended pending an ongoing investigation, according to the Board of Education.

Vice Principal Martin Scarano has been suspended with pay effective June 7 and Brian Russo, the guidance/special education department supervisor, was also suspended, effective immediately, according to the personnel report distributed at Thursday night's Board of Education meeting.

Details of the investigation into Scarano and Russo could not be released, Board of Education President Ezio Tamburello said. It was also not clear whether the two suspensions were related.

When reached at his Allentown home Wednesday morning, Scarano said he had "no comment" on the situation.

Superintendent Dr. Robert Zega said Wednesday he could not speak on the matter since it is ongoing.

According to the personnel agenda, Matthew Connelly will be hired effective July 1 as the school's acting vice principal. Woodbridge High’s other vice principal, Steven Caroscio, will take over as principal, replacing Lee Warren, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Abdulsaleem Hasan will be taking Caroscio’s vice principal position as of July 1.

Scarano is paid a salary of $122,235, according to latest information from APP.com Data Universe. Russo’s salary was listed as $70,120 for his previous position as a special education teacher before he was named guidance/special education department supervisor. 

Scarano began teaching at Woodbridge High, his Alma mater, in 1995 as a special education teacher. He coached soccer and basketball for six years before becoming athletic director in 2001. In 2005, he became one of two vice principals at the high school.

Russo, also a Woodbridge High graduate, resigned as the school’s head football coach last summer to take the guidance/special education department supervisor position for the 2012-13 school year.

The district has also suspended Avenel Middle School teacher, Randall Hunt, effective June 11 pending further action from the Board of Education. 

The suspensions come less than one year after Woodbridge High School was investigated by the NJ Department of Education, based on allegations of cheating on standardized tests in August of 2012.  

That same year, Avenel Street and Ross Street schools were discovered to be cheating after the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance reported a high numbers of wrong-to-right erasures on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, or NJASK, standardized test.

The cheating at the two schools led to the suspension of five teachers, one of whom was recently fired in April. Patch previously reported that John Radzik was dismissed by the Board of Education on April 18. Fords Avenue School was also investigated for cheating in 2012, but nothing was found.

Deborah Bell  also contributed to this report.

Irina June 15, 2013 at 02:43 AM
I got the scoop.....They were changing grades to get certain students schlorships and keeping students on the school sports teams.....NICE.... You want news....ask the bus drivers.
EW1996 June 15, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Stupid jocks? Russo won the athlete scholar award in collage. People love to talk about people they don't know. Maybe we should wait to see the outcome of the investigation before judging people without knowing the facts.
gam June 15, 2013 at 03:45 AM
Robert-it is not the mayors fault if people do not use their right to vote as a means to change things...
Ed Oatman June 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Exactly EW1996
thomas edison June 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM
wow.
thomas edison June 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM
WOW
ash732 June 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Whsalumni99 ....... Um wow someone is holding a grudge. And you have nerve to talk about mr. Lee warren he is a wonderful exzample of how a school principal should be one of a kind these days! you know i cant stand that this article was written there is very little info on the situation and all this article is doing is having others create thier own scenario of what happened with them. It shouldnt of been posted till all the info was available but thats my opinion
Edna June 15, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Stupid jocks?!?! Wow guess u weren't athletic in ur school yrs or simply were not good enuf to play. Lets stick to the facts here. If they did what they are being accused of they shud be held accountable. Lets teach our children some accountability PLEASE!
Whs2003 June 15, 2013 at 01:42 PM
I don't pass any judgement till I know what actually happened. As a student athlete I had no favoritism when scarano was AD. I earned my scholarship and I would have never questioned either of their characters. Rather than go off of rumors why don't we deal with facts first. All we know is they are accused of something and that in itself is not guilt. Remeber the Duke Lacrosse students who were kicked out of school only to find out the accuser lied.
Anthony Caffiero June 15, 2013 at 05:07 PM
The fact that salary info was included in the article (should the amount they make play a role in how people react to any potential indiscretions?) along with a convenient mention of recent investigations, makes the article come off as templated and leading (successfully, judging from comments above). Conflating this story with recent investigations and tapping into a populist anger towards public employees that seems to be ubiquitous these days is unfair until the facts are revealed (sorry bus driver). I would imagine, as with most things, that the devil is in the details and there is a lot of nuance and situational circumstances surrounding these stories. These broad brush stroke comments and individual personal recitations are more reason to ponder if this story is aimed to be "red meat" for blowhards and knuckle draggers. Understandably if not available ( or conveniently leaving out ) details to let people fill in the blanks on their own. I think we owe it to the kids of this town to reserve judgement until more information is shared.
JBean June 15, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Before you get out your pitch forks and flaming torches and start salivating; remember, to err is human; to forgive is devine. Brian has a big heart and is a good person. He is the furthest thing from evil. He has devoted his life to helping children since I've known him.
Ed Oatman June 15, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Agreed Anthony. People always seem to want the worst to be true and see people torn down. We should all wait for all the facts to come out before rushing to judgement.
Beenthere June 15, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Too much judgement and not nearly enough info
Beenthere June 15, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Hey Matt. You really think Colombine and Newtown are results linked to possible grade changing? And sorry Concerned Voice, but when comments as idiotic as the one mentioned by Matt......yes certain posts should be screened and deleted. Maybe certain individuals posting these comments are angered that there grades weren't once changed for the better. Because its obvious that there are some grammar concerns.....two words for future posts....spell check
Mr. C June 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM
It's time to teach our "dedicated" public employees a lesson. If these allegations are proven true, the only way to stop these transgressions in the future will be to to suspend WITHOUT pay, forfeit all penison rights and benefits. Maybe this type of action would be deterent to those thinking about abusing their power or taking our tax dollars for granted. If proven not guilty, reinstate back pay etc. etc.
OFFICIAL BUSINESS June 18, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Just think the so called dedicated public employees, get to sit home with pay and benefits, While the poor slug The Woodbridge Resident has to pay. What a deal in Woodbridge Township.
Patrick Donnelly June 18, 2013 at 06:58 PM
One comment, "innocent until proven guilty", until their day in court they are presumed innocent. Suspending them with pay is only fair and just until their day in court.
Mart June 18, 2013 at 07:35 PM
I stand 100% behind these two administrators. They were wonderful in my son's first year in this town's public school. They showed him around the school,when there was a problem, it was addressed immediately. They were truly what made the school a great one and I don't think it will be the same. All the kids are upset that they are not there. If I understand correctly what they did, it's not that serious to warrant the removal of these individuals from their positions. They didn't steal, molest or kill anyone. Let's get real here.
OFFICIAL BUSINESS June 18, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Wish i could sit home and collect $2,300.00 aweek, but instead i have to work to pay the taxes, when woodbridge township did nothing for me. There building department approved of the construction of these condo units and there nothing but Garbage. Just look at Burlington coat factory, Woodbridge Township approved the permits for them to, and the parking lot Fell. Welcome to Woodbridge!
Mart June 18, 2013 at 07:43 PM
I do agree, that Woodbridge has a lot of corruption going on. Absolutely. I just hate to see good people get let go for stupid reasons and the corruption will still be there. I could go on and on about every individual and how corrupt they are but rather not, I just wanted to comment on these two guys because I do believe they were wonderful in their profession and don't need to be crucified for this stupid infraction. And stupid it is, believe me.
WBresident June 18, 2013 at 07:49 PM
If found guilty, will they be giving back their pay!!!!! Thanks for more tax dollars wasted B.O.E.
WBresident June 18, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Hmmm, I've been reading these comments and instead of focusing on sports they should be more concerned with teaching these kids how to spell.
Mart June 18, 2013 at 08:28 PM
I don't know what happened to my last post but anyway, to go back to comment from OFFICIAL BUSINESS, I understand your frustration with the town, but I am simply standing behind two individuals who did their job and should not be crucified for a stupid infraction. Woodbridge, like any other town is full of corruption, that will never change.. I just hate to see great administrators being let go because of some stupid reason. And stupid it was.
Mart June 18, 2013 at 09:10 PM
I understand your frustration with Woodbridge Township OFFICIAL BUSINESS, believe me. This town is full of corruption. I am simply commenting on two dedicated administrators. They did their job very well. Their accusations are minor and very petty and STUPID as far as what others are doing in this town. I would love to mention some names, but rather not, for obvious reasons. It's sad to see this happen because I am coming from a neutral place, I did not attend any of these schools or grow up in this town, but when I took my son to this school, I couldn't have been more happier with the warm welcome received, by Mr. Warren, Mr. Scarano and Mr. Russo. I am very sad to see them go and cannot believe that Mr. Scarano and Mr. Russo are being suspended for some one time stupid infraction. Woodbridge Board Of Ed should seriously reconsider.
tom June 21, 2013 at 03:28 PM
LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD. They changed official grades which altered student athletes GPAs. This helped these students get cleared by the NCAA for athletic scholarships. Apparently they did this for at least 4 and possibly as many as 9. Two scandals, from the same group of administrators. WAKE UP WOODBRIDGE
Cathy Salamon June 24, 2013 at 10:35 AM
I am one of Mr. Russo's fans. He was very direct, and acted in the best interest of each individual student, current allegations notwithstanding. Mr. Scarano I had less contact with so I can't really make a judgment call, however he did appear to be a pro-active administrator, handling issues with fairness. If the actions they are accused of (although most of us are aware of those allegations, it is still hearsay) are in fact true, I cannot believe that these two men independently made the decision to do what they are accused of doing. I have to think these actions were based on a "request/strong suggestion/order" from an outside - yet related source for their personal interests/benefit. If I am correct, these two exceptional instructors / admiinistrators will unfortunately and unfairly going to take the fall.
Cathy Salamon June 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM
As an addendum in response to someone's previous comment, while it is true--there are some "stupid jocks," there are also exceptionally bright jocks. I'm guessing the percentage of "jocks" who are honestly earning grades that are passing or better, is higher than the percentage of those earning passing or better grades in the entire student body.
Cathy Salamon June 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM
@Mart - I agree with everything you said except for the fact that the accusations are petty, minor, and stupid. This may be true relative to the other corruption and nepotism going on in the township, however the actions indirectly affect every student--suggesting that each individual student is not afforded the same opportunity. But again, I add that I believe orders came from another source.
mr mr June 28, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I had Mr. Scarano when I was in WHS back in the 90's and also went to school with Brian. I just want to say that Mr. Scarano was an excellent person who helped me out tremendously. I was a troubled youth with many problems. Mr. Scarano was one of the very few people who was able to reach me and help me. He gave me heart to heart talks and met me where I was at. He has a gift when it comes to connecting with and helping students. I hope that the people in charge of this investigation take into account all of the positive and mitigating factors when coming to a conclusion in this matter. Whether these two did something wrong or not, I think they are good people who bring a lot to the table. In this crazy screwed up world we live in, this seems like small potato's. These are good guys.
Mart June 29, 2013 at 08:43 AM
You can put it all together and see how this all went down but anyway what scares me is the new principal of WHS. Between him and Mr.Scarano, I was truly hoping Mr. scarano would replace Mr. Warren's position.

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