Mr. Pagano was born and raised in Belleville, New Jersey. Growing up in Belleville, Mr. Pagano took advantage of all the services that the community had to offer. He participated in recreational sports such as football, basketball and baseball. Besides sports, as a student, he was a member of the Cub Scouts; frequented many school activities and assisted in coaching youth football in Belleville. As a former graduate of Belleville High School, Mr. Pagano participated in many extracurricular activities including football and track. He was named to Star Ledger All Groups All State Football 1st Team, All Essex County 1st Team, All Daily News 1st Team, All Essex County Lineman of the Year, Honorable Mention All American, and the Belleville Varsity Club MVP to mention few. While in college, Mr. Pagano returned to Belleville by becoming one of the head coaches of recreation football. The following year he rejoined the Buccaneer family as an assistant football coach where he stayed on to coach for nine years and three more years from 1994 through 1996. Besides coaching football, Mr. Pagano was an assistant track and a volunteer golf coach.
In 1984, Mr. Russell C. Pagano Jr. graduated from Montclair State University earning a B.S. in Industrial Arts. In September of 1984, Mr. Pagano was hired by the Belleville School District as an Industrial Arts Teacher. During his tenure at Belleville High School, Mr. Pagano entered graduate school in 1988, earning a Master’s Degree in Technology Education from Montclair State University in 1991. In 1995, Mr. Pagano went back to Montclair State University to earn a second Master’s Degree, this one in Administration and Supervision. He has certifications in Principal, Administrative Supervision in grades K-12, and Industrial Arts.
Mr. Pagano has worked in the Belleville School District for the last 33 years, 19 years as an Industrial Arts teacher, 8 years as the High School Vice-Principal and starting his 6th year as the High School Principal. As a teacher, he taught Drafting, Computers, Graphics, Woods and Automotive Repair. During that time, he served on many committees and was the school’s Ski Club Advisor. He continues to be a member of the Home School Association and the Belleville Varsity Club.
As principal and with the support of staff and students, Mr. Pagano was able to implement the first Student Ambassador program at Belleville High School, the first Summer edition of the Peer Freshman Orientation Day, the Student-Principal Advisory Committee, Belleville High School’s own Twitter Account, Senior Flash Mob, a Senior Career Day, a final exam exemption program, a Senior BBQ, and finally “Shirts off to Pagano” which is a donation of school uniform shirts from seniors to be passed on to other students.
Mr. Pagano has been married for 30 years and has three wonderful children, two who have graduated college and are currently working. His oldest child works as a teacher while his middle child works for a Public Relations company in New York. The youngest child is a sophomore at Montclair State University where he is majoring in criminal justice. While his children were growing up, Mr. Pagano coached youth football and baseball in the town he presently resides. He served on many school and community committees as well as being the President of the CGJBSL and the CG Diamond Club. In his free time, Mr. Pagano enjoys, fishing, boating, golfing, working around the house, building things, and watching his family grow up.
In closing, Mr. Pagano has enjoyed each and every aspect of his educational endeavors. He looks forward to continuing to work cooperatively with the students, parents and the staff. He is very grateful that he has been able to share the experiences that school brings to the students, staff and community. It is most rewarding to see how his present and former students have grown into young responsible adults. He regards the community and the students of Belleville as the finest and he has these words of advice: “put your families first, be firm but fair in all your relationships, apply the three “D”s (Dedication, Desire, and Discipline) to your lives and always be proud of who you are, be proud of your plans, your achievements and your dreams..” As Og Mandino said, “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
Follow us on twitter: @hs_belleville
"From Start to Finish"