Mr. Toriello is Officially Dr. Toriello

Morris Hills High School’s principal Dr. Toriello welcomed a laudable milestone in the new year. As of the end of 2019, Dr. Toriello earned his EdD (Doctor of Education) degree from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City in Educational Leadership. Although the anticipated graduation ceremony will not occur until this upcoming May, upon successfully defending his dissertation this past winter, Dr. Toriello has been officially recognized as a doctor. When encouraged by the university’s program to choose a topic that one was passionate about, our principal chose to study and examine the effectiveness of the AVID program at the high school across the course of his doctoral education. In the current position as principal, he saw this decision as beneficial to the school’s improvement. Presently, Dr. Toriello looks forward to working towards a myriad of goals that include working extensively with Miss Barkocyi to improve the effectiveness of AVID in secondary education. Furthermore, he plans to discuss the program more with his colleagues, possibly write articles for educational magazines as well as, overall, help branch out the program to neighboring schools. 

When asked what motivated Dr. Toriello to strive to earn a doctorate, he emphasized that he believes in the importance of being a life-long learner. “I have always considered myself to be a life-long learner, and I try to extend that belief to students that attend Morris Hills and the staff whom I work with on a regular basis,” he expounded. The passion for continuing education past high school and like himself, past a Master’s, was fostered in his house by his parents, who were “life-longer learners” themselves. His father, having earned a doctorate himself and his mother, who worked up to becoming a high school principal, truly inspired Dr. Toriello on his path to this great accomplishment.

Naturally, many challenges surfaced in pursuing the highest level of education. Although it was a timely decision with Mrs. Toriello to reach this goal, a balance had to be met between being a father of three young children, a husband, and a principal all while studying as a graduate student. However, Dr. Toriello somehow found time in his active life and demanding schedule to attend those lengthy classes and find quiet time to sit and write by diligently working late and as early as possible. He shared that the support of his colleagues at MH and family are what helped him make his dream a reality. Dr. Toriello reflected on his dedication and explained that although it was definitely a challenge, all of the conflicts he embarked were part of his journey to get where he is today.

“All students are capable of learning,” the very first and last sentence of Dr. Toriello’s dissertation, is a statement of hope that all students will continue to learn and grow as people in education and life, because all have the ability to. Dr. Toriello has certainly followed his own path in learning by gaining his doctorate and studying the AVID program, something he is passionate about. To the life-long learners of Morris Hills, he encourages all students to “go confidently in the direction they want, and live the life they choose to live.”

On behalf of the MH Hilltopper, we wish Dr. Toriello a well-earned congratulations and best of luck in 2020!