Tennis coaches advise players to develop both strong forehand and backhand strokes. New Holy Cross School principal, William Belluzzi, no stranger to the clay court or nylon net, now plans to coach a team of students and teachers with a similar steady hand.
Belluzzi earned a bachelor’s degree in romance languages from Fordham
University, the Bronx, N.Y., and a masters degree in secondary
education from Montclair State University, Montclair. He later earned a
masters degree in administration and supervision from William Paterson
With advanced degrees in hand, Belluzzi returned to the high
school he had once attended, Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell.
During his decade at his alma mater he taught Spanish and Italian,
worked as a guidance counselor, initiated a freshman advisory program,
moderated the school newspaper and yearbook, and coached tennis teams on
both junior varsity and varsity levels. A seven-year term as guidance
counselor (and, once again, tennis coach) at St. Joseph Regional High
School, Montvale, was next; he then served as Spanish instructor and
taught psychology courses at Dominican College, Blauvelt, N.Y. while
coordinating a program for working adults interested in obtaining a
degree in an accelerated evening format.
A foray into public education was next for the young family man; a
stint as guidance counselor at Valley Middle School, Oakland, was
followed by principal positions at Dogwood Hill Elementary, also in
Oakland, and Tenafly Middle School in Tenafly. Belluzzi’s most recent position was as superintendent of schools in the Montvale public school system.
Belluzzi’s return to Catholic education was a faith-filled decision.
“While we live in a pluralistic society with a public education system
that provides enormous opportunities and benefits for all children, a
Catholic education allows students to have their formative education in
an atmosphere that supports the specific values and beliefs that they
learn at home,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Monitor. “This grounding,
especially in the early years, enables students to learn more about
their faith tradition, to have many opportunities to express that faith
through liturgy and other prayer experiences, and to engage in Christian
service, all within the context of their education. Hopefully, this
will enhance their ability to become thoughtful adults who will apply
Gospel values to all aspects of their lives.”
Belluzzi and wife, Jody, who met as kindergarten students in Our Lady
of the Visitation Grammar School, Paramus, will celebrate their 39th
wedding anniversary this month. Their son, Brian, is a high school
English teacher and
daughter, Lisa, instructs special education
students. The Bergen county native is excited to fulfill his lifelong
dream to live at the Jersey shore and return to Catholic schooling.
Belluzzi defined his goals for his first year as Holy Cross School
principal much like an architect would define a new edifice. “The theme
for the year is ‘Building on a Strong Foundation of Pride and Respect’,”
he revealed. “I have just completed meetings… [and] have been struck by
everyone’s pride in the school and the family feel that they have
expressed. I hope for us to build on that wonderful foundation and to
continue the ongoing academic goals on differentiation of instruction,
introduction of a guided reading program and enhancement of educational
technology, along with a variety of liturgical experiences and
opportunities for Christian service.”