It’s a new chapter for the Stillwater Central School District as Joseph Mariano, Jr. officially began his role as Superintendent of Schools on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. Mr. Mariano accepted a three-year contract after the Board of Education appointed him to the position at its Dec. 12, 2023 meeting.
“I’m honored to have been chosen as the next superintendent of Stillwater. I’m excited to join the district and be a part of such a welcoming, tight-knit community, as well as lead an education system with a great reputation,” said Mr. Mariano.
The Board hired Mr. Mariano after an extensive search and interview process led by WSWHE BOCES with input from the community and various stakeholder groups.
“After almost a year-long search involving the community, staff and students, Joe Mariano aligned with Stillwater’s goals and academic values that all stakeholders wanted in a new superintendent. We are excited for what the future holds,” said Stillwater Board of Education President Robert McCoy.
A native of Troy, Mr. Mariano brings over 23 years of public education experience and a wealth of knowledge to his new role. He comes to Stillwater from the Troy City School District where he was the High School Executive Principal for the past 12 years. As principal, he provided leadership and guidance to over 1,200 students, supervised more than 140 staff members, and managed a $250,000 building-based budget to support a comprehensive high school program. He’s also credited with increasing the school’s overall graduation rate by 17% during his tenure, which was recognized by New York state.
When the superintendent vacancy arose, Mr. Mariano wasn’t specifically searching for the position, but he said something was different about Stillwater. The job felt like the right fit, especially after he spoke to members of the community. From those conversations, Mr. Mariano could tell residents were passionate and took pride in their community, which made him want to pursue the superintendent role.
“Even though I knew I was ready for the next step in my career, I wasn’t yearning to be a superintendent. I was ready to be Stillwater’s superintendent,” said Mr. Mariano.
With 18 years of administrative experience, Mr. Mariano has developed a collaborative leadership style. He believes the best decisions are made when you have the most information, saying “I like to get multiple perspectives before any major decisions are made.” In fact, one of his goals for the district is to increase collaboration at all levels and to work with various stakeholders to make Stillwater better each day.
Prior to becoming Executive Principal at Troy High School, Mr. Mariano was the school’s assistant principal for four years and the Dean of Students for one. He was previously a social studies teacher at South Colonie High School, where he also coached freshman baseball and varsity golf. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Siena College and a master’s degree in Secondary Education Social Studies from the College of St. Rose. He also holds the NYS School District Administrator (SDA) certification.
Mr. Mariano replaced former Superintendent of Schools Patricia Morris. He currently lives in Cohoes with his wife and three children and spends most of his free time attending his children’s sporting events, in addition to reading and playing golf.