VCS Superintendent Announces Retirement

On Thursday, January 17thVictor Central Schools’ Superintendent Dawn Santiago-Marullo notified the Board of Education that she will end her 36 year career at the District and retire effective July 17, 2019. 

Santiago-Marullo has been at the District’s leadership helm since 2009. Prior to being appointed Superintendent, Santiago-Marullo was the District’s Director of Special Projects and Programs, Director of the Victor Teaching Center, Coordinator of the K-8 Enrichment Program, a Staff Developer, and founding coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, a rigorous world-view academic program. Before these leadership positions, Santiago-Marullo was a Spanish teacher at Victor Senior High School for 18 years.

Under Santiago-Marullo’s leadership, the Victor Central School District has grown steadily over the past decade, despite challenging economic times that included a recession and millions of dollars in state aid reductions. 

Santiago-Marullo was involved in many new and exciting changes at VCS during her tenure as Superintendent. Physically, the campus changed immensely thanks to three capital projects. Among the many changes Santiago-Marullo oversaw was the addition of around 60,000 square feet, which includes approximately 25 new classrooms campus wide. A new playground, parking lot and a reengineered bus loop at the Early Childhood School also highlight progress under Santiago-Marullo’s leadership, not to mention a state of the art aquatics center at the Senior High School and a new gymnasium and large group music ensemble room at the Intermediate School. 

Programmatically, VCS flourished under Santiago-Marullo’s leadership. Among the major accomplishments she oversaw in this area were the addition of a full day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, the reframing of the District’s Inquiry Program, the implementation of an 8-1-1 program at the Primary School, expanded Math and English Language Arts Teacher Coaches for grades K-6, and the addition of Standards Leaders in English, math, science and social studies for grades 7-12. Santiago-Marullo also oversaw the introduction of a dynamic performing arts connection between the District and the Merry-Go-Round Theatre Company, a Family Support Center that connects families with professional counseling, and LifePrep@Naz, a groundbreaking program developed in conjunction with the ARC of Monroe County and Nazareth College that provides 18-21 year old students with disabilities a college experience. 

Providing students with opportunities was Santiago-Marullo’s mantra. At the beginning of every new school year she always began her opening day speech by reiterating her philosophy that “every student deserves to be prepared for his/her future with a high quality education.” Students were not Santiago-Marullo’s only priority. Every connection she had, with every person, from parents and alumni, to community members, school cleaners, food service staff, bus drivers, coaches, nurses, groundskeepers, teacher aides, teachers, technicians, secretaries, maintenance and bus mechanics, and administrators, was marked with genuine interest, care, concern, and respect. Her passion for people and possibilities was relentless. In 2014, she founded the VCS Educational Foundation which raises money to support District programs. She was also instrumental in creating several recognition programs including, True Blue Hero, the Volunteer Committed to Service Award (in collaboration with the Victor Teachers’ Association), the Superintendent’s Civic Engagement Awards and the Visual and Performing Arts Hall of Fame. 

Thanks to her affinity for technology and communication, Santiago-Marullo also established the District’s first ever social media presence on Facebook in 2010 and Twitter in 2011. She also oversaw the creation and implementation of the District’s new ADA compliant website. 

Despite the thousands of hours that Santiago-Marullo logged at VCS during her 36 years of service, she never saw it as a job, rather a gift. In a letter to all staff and administrators she said, “It has been the honor of a lifetime to be part of this educational organization. I’ve been extremely blessed in my career, having the personal and professional joy of both teaching and leading in our District.”

In a statement on behalf of the Board of the Education, Board president Debbie Palumbo-Sanders said Santiago-Marullo’s legacy is one of a true educator. 

“Dr. Santiago-Marullo’s career has been founded on a devotion to the students and staff of Victor Central Schools and a commitment of service to the whole Victor-Farmington community. Her knowledge, commitment and achievements have enhanced our District and continued to position Victor as a respected, accomplished and transformative school community. The impact of her efforts and accomplishments will indeed benefit Victor Central Schools and our entire community for years to come. We are grateful to Dr. Santiago-Marullo for her dedication and leadership, and we wish her the very best in all her future pursuits,” she said.