Richard Tomko

Richard Tomko

Department : Education

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Dr. Tomko has had numerous administrative responsibilities since he first chose education as a career after college.  He has been a building administrator at the middle and secondary levels and responsible for district-wide curriculum, program, and professional development while in central office positions. He began his tenure in the Elmwood Park Public Schools District (NJ) as Memorial Middle School Principal in 2002 and after one year, Dr. Tomko was asked to assume the position of principal of Memorial High School.  He was instrumental in re-arranging the secondary curriculum, ensuring that courses were aligned with assessments.  He also began to study the achievement gaps between learners and the transition of students from 8th to 9th grade, making changes to programs and personnel to help students be successful in their classes.  After two years, Dr. Tomko then served as principal of both the middle and high schools to help improve the continuity of programs in district, 6-12.  During the 2009-2010 school year, Dr. Tomko was appointed Interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Memorial High School Principal, and beginning July 1, 2010 he began serving as Superintendent of Schools for the school district.  As Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Tomko continued to raise student aptitude; challenge students with a more rigorous curriculum; evaluate teachers and administrators more thoroughly; and responded fiscally by making an immediate $2.2 million budget cut to offset expenditures and remove the district deficit, restoring financial stability.  New programs implemented immediately after his appointment led to major increases in SAT and Advanced Placement scores, as well as increases in score assessments for the Special Education subgroup, which helped lessen the achievement gap.  Prior to his arrival in Elmwood Park, Dr. Tomko served past districts in administrative positions such as department supervisor, assistant principal, and director of athletics.  He began his career in education teaching high school science and middle and high school English in both private and public school systems. 



Dr. Tomko continues to research the "expectations gap" and lack of articulation between secondary schools and institutions of higher education with the hope of improving student readiness for post-secondary instruction.  Past formal research endeavors have included student achievement gaps on statewide assessments; guidance and counseling influence on student application to post-secondary education; student perceptions of remedial English; and student readiness for college.  Dr. Tomko is a change agent for creativity and problem-solving and works with his administrative teams to decrease achievement gaps between demographic subgroups of learners. 


Professional Experience

Dr. Tomko obtained his principal license and school administrator certificate after earning his Masters Degree in Educational Administration (M.A.E.), and he has attained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a concentration in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.  Dr. Tomko has also earned a graduate certificate in Community and Economic Development from The Pennsylvania State University and a certificate in Leadership for his professional studies at Harvard University. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of English Composition and English Basic Skills at a local NJ community college, an adjunct professor in the educational leadership graduate program at Manhattan College, and mentors newly appointed administrators statewide for licensure through the New Jersey Department of Education.


Publications & Professional Activities

2013    “Is My Child Safe in School?”: How to Have a Conversation with Your School Administration.  Connecticut Parent Magazine, February. 2013, 29(6). pp. 36-37.

2013    Parental Involvement and Children Reading: The Only Successful Combination. Connecticut Parent Magazine, January. 2013, 29(5). pp. 29-30.

2012     Teacher Evaluation: Maximizing Personnel Performance.  New Jersey School Boards Convention Presentation Wednesday, October 24, 2012.  Co-Presenter Andy Brown, Esq., - Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein, and Celso

 2011     "I Shouldn't Be in This Class!": Perceptions of Proficient High School Graduates Enrolled in College Developmental English, by Tomko, Richard D., Ph.D., Seton Hall University, 2011, 374 pages; AAT 3472704

2011     The Right Start for New Administrators. Northern Valley Schools Consortium. Presentation August 18, 2011.

2011     The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another Book Review. Community College Review, January. 2011. North Carolina State University.

2011     Unofficial Dissertation Guide: Department of Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy.  Seton Hall University. Contributor.

2009-2010       The College Readiness Project: Barringer High School, Newark NJ Research Assistant

2008                The College Readiness Project: West Side High School, Newark NJ Junior Research Assistant



Professional Memberships

Blue and White Society – The Pennsylvania State University
Member – Sierra Club (N.J. Chapter)
President – Elmwood Park Administrators Association (EPAA) 2005-2010
Vice President – Elmwood Park Administrators Association (EPAA) 2002-2005
Member – Bergen County Administrators Association
Member N.J.A.S.A. – New Jersey Association of School Administrators


2012 – present   College Council Representative (Adjunct Faculty) – Bergen Community College  

2012 – present   Sparta Girls Sports (SGS) – Vice President (Travel)/Board Trustee

2012 – present   NJASA Legislative Liaison – Bergen County Association of School Administrators 

2011 – present   NJSIAA Liaison – Bergen County Association of School Administrators

2011 – 2012    Committee Member – Legislative Committee (BCASA)

2010 – present Board Trustee – Elmwood Park Municipal Library

2010 – present Committee Member – Bergen County Charity Classic Foundation



Dr. Tomko is married, has four young children, and dedicates his spare time volunteering as a coach for local recreation sports teams and the Boy Scouts of America.

Courses Taught/Teaching

Supervision (Educational Leadership)