Joe DiMartino

Project Leader

Joe DiMartino is founder and president of the Center for Secondary School Redesign (CSSR). In this role, Joe provides leadership for a network of over twenty school change coaches directly impacting transformational school change initiatives across the United States.  Under his leadership, CSSR bas become recognized as a leading provider of ground breaking technical assistance to support both policy change and change leadership at the school and district level—leading to a richer more personalized school experience for all youth.

The i3 New England Network for Personalization and Performance was built on Joe’s dream of creating a network of schools that would support each other to become truly personalized. Joe spearheaded the recruitment of the thirteen project sites; oversaw the creation of the vision; developed the i3 proposal; and provided guidance for the implementation of all project work. Throughout the five-year project, he provided leadership in the development of the Performance Assessment Review (PAR) Board, as well as the Performance Assessment Working Group (PAWG).

Prior to founding CSSR, Joe served for nearly a decade as director of the Secondary School Redesign Program of the Education Alliance at Brown University. He oversaw the design, development and implementation of numerous research and technical assistance projects promoting high school redesign. Much of his work went into the development of the Breaking Ranks process of comprehensive high school reform, which has been implemented in over 40 schools across the country. In addition to his work at Brown, Joe has served as the chair of the steering committee of the National High School Alliance; co-chair of the National Task Force on the High School; on the Breaking Ranks Commission of the National Association of Secondary School Principals; as well as on the National Urban Task Force.

For Joe, the most enduring impact of the i3 New England Network will be that students are able to take charge of their own learning. His experience leading this five-year project has been personally and professionally gratifying, and has ratified long-held beliefs about the value of allowing for student agency as a vehicle for change.

Joe holds a B.A. from Brown University, a M.Ed. in Special Education and Counseling from Rhode Island College, and has completed all the coursework for a Ph.D. in Culturally Responsive Education from Brown University. Joe is first and foremost a parent and grandparent, often stating that he has learned much more from his six children, including the four adopted from outside the United States, than he could ever hope to teach them. Helping to create learning environments where diversity is valued, as exemplified in his family, is a prime motivator for Joe. 

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