Hello Joe Ruggiero


Maxine Whitely, Editor-in-Chief

Rooj-e-air-oh. Joe Rooj-e-air-oh, Mr. Ruggiero, or Dr. Ruggiero. Although saying his name might be difficult, integrating him into the Blake community most likely won’t be.

Joe Ruggiero will be joining the Blake community as the Upper School Director, coming from the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago.

The Parker School, like Blake, endorses diversity, inclusion, and academic excellence. Parker has an average class size of 80 students, and 100% of them matriculate to excellent, highly selective colleges.

Although the two schools have similar structure, Ruggiero is prepared to bring new ideas to the table. At Parker, “AP courses are not really prevalent… [We] barely have any APs at all. The thing that I love about that is that it frees students up to take classes they want to take and that they’re interested in instead of thinking that they have to take the class because it has AP in its title.”

Even with his abundant concepts, he stresses, “I’m coming into Blake not knowing the history and culture of the institution very well yet. I want to spend a lot of time really listening and learning, and not assuming anything.”

Ruggiero cites his primary interest in Blake because of “how [Blake] develops responsible, ethical, knowledgeable citizens of a global society. The academic prowess was one component of it, but it was broader than that. It’s really about looking at a human aspect of student development.”

The keystone of Ruggiero’s success as the administrative leader will be his commitment to open communication. He wants students to know that “my office doors are open. My primary goal is to get to know [students] as quickly… as possible. I want them to know that I am their advocate.”

Beyond maintaining options for communication, Ruggiero plans to connect and get involved with the student body. He comments, “My favorite part of what I do is working with the students. I was very adamant that I wanted to make sure that if I took this position, I could continue that work on a daily basis. So what I plan on doing immediately is meeting with student representatives and other leaders in the community to figure out what students want in terms of level of interaction with my office and what I can do to support and continue conversations that involve direct access to me.”

When Ruggiero takes over the first floor office next year, expect to see his door open, his room full of student and faculty leaders, and his ambitions high.

See fun facts about Ruggiero here: https://www.blakespectrum.org/blog/2015/03/05/joe-ruggiero-fun-facts/