Ross Danis became the inaugural executive director of the Newark Education Trust in December, 2010. Dr. Danis is a lifetime New Jersey educator who has been a teacher, staff developer, supervisor of instruction, school principal, district administrator, foundation program director, and university dean. The Newark Education Trust is an independent organization dedicated to developing ideas, coordinating efforts, and aligning resources to ensure a quality education for all children in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Danis also serves as a International Clinical Professor for Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. Some things you may find interesting about Ross’s background is that he was the subject of a PBS documentary on leadership called "Quicksand and Banana Peels: A year in the life of two principals." For more than a year, a camera crew followed Ross, then the principal of a suburban school, as well as Dee Foster, the principal of an urban school. The film illustrates that while Ross and Dee had different leadership styles and operated in very different settings, the challenges they faced and the strategies they used to face them were very similar. In the 1980’s Ross was a Rotary Exchange Fellow in Sri Lanka and India, taught leadership seminars and workshops for school administrators in the deep south of the United States throughout the 1990’s, and helped Eastern European educators in Bulgaria and Romania infuse democratic principles into the curriculum in 2005- all while working as a teacher, a principal, or a foundation program director. Ross's publications include a book chapter entitled The Leader as Anthropologist, as well an article that compares new teacher induction to the induction of hairstylists in high end hair salons, entitled Of Hair Stylists and Master Teachers.
Ross has served as an appointee to the education task forces, commissions, or education policy transition teams of four New Jersey governors, and five education commissioners. He is currently serving as one of the nine members of the Teacher Effectiveness Task Force appointed by Governor Christie and charged with developing an evaluation system that holds teachers accountable for student outcomes.
Ross and his 31 year old son completed their first triathlon together this past year, his daughter is a senior and co-captain of the varsity fencing team at West Morris Central, and Ross and his wife Chris recently took up paddle surfing. Their first grandchild, Keegan Joseph was born in May.