“I have done numerous training with Dr. Wanko on the issue of school safety and security.  He is an excellent presenter who draws on his wealth of experience. Actively engages all participants and offers practical strategies that can have immediate impact.  Any school district would benefit from his expertise.”

David Nash, Esq., Director of Legal Education, Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA) and Coordinator of the LEGAL ONE program.

“My relationship with Dr. Wanko began when we worked together to respond to a suicide death in his high school.  I knew then that not only was he collaborative to do the “right thing” for students, staff and the community, but that he also had a clear vision for how school, schools, and school districts can minimize risk and increase protective factors for school safety.  I have enjoyed his partnership personally and professionally.” 

George Scott, EdS, LMFT, Resource Coordinator for the Traumatic Loss Coalition in New Jersey.

“One panelist, Dr. Michael Wanko, experienced a school safety crisis first-hand.  Wanko became an expert on the topic of school safety.  Wanko counseled the audience to identify threats to security.  To assist in this effort, he made available to conference participants the crisis preparedness checklist and the physical risk reduction checklist that appear in his book.  Dr. Wanko suggested that the culture of the school is just as important as the building security hardware.”

Janet Bamford, Managing Editor, School Leader Magazine, January/February 2013.

“Wanko was one of a half-dozen educators and law enforcement officials who spoke on Friday at a New Jersey School Board Association conference on school safety, the state's first large-scale treatment of the topic since the Newtown elementary school shootings in December. Wanko’s school safety prescription comprises a long and detailed list.”

John Mooney, Chief Executive Officer, Founding Editor, NJ Spotlight, 2013.

“Dr. Wanko was inspired to use Lip Dub as an opportunity for a school-wide project to get the message out quickly about anti-bullying and to heighten school spirit, announcing the Lip Dub as the Kick-off for the school's Anti-Bullying Campaign.”

World Record Academy, Largest High School Lip Dub, 2013.

Voices from NJ Spotlight

Paula Saha | January 28, 2013

“In the rush of quotes and contentions that mark every week at NJ Spotlight, it's easy to miss some of the most memorable.  We were struck last week by a number of compelling quotes from a wide variety of stories on NJ Spotlight, and thought we would highlight a few you might not have seen.”

School Safety

“Remember, there are two types of schools, and they are not urban vs. suburban or private vs. public. It is those who have undergone a crisis, and those waiting for one to happen.”

-- Michael Wanko, Piscataway High School principal and author of "Safe Schools: Crisis Prevention and Response."

“In the past eight years, under the leadership of Principal Dr. Michael Wanko, Piscataway High School has moved into the top half of New Jersey high schools as ranked by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. Kudos belong to the students, faculty, staff, supervisors, and administrators who have undertaken the high school restructuring, and curricular and school climate reforms. Seven years ago, Piscataway ranked 242nd out of 316 high schools. This year, we ranked 140th, a climb of over a hundred spots.

Teresa Rafferty, Superintendent, Piscataway Public School District.

“Dr. Wanko sees the mission of Bayonne High School as offering students quality educational programs and a safe and supportive learning environment.” 

NJDOE press release.

"He literally wrote the book on school safety after Columbine." Jeffrey Fischer, School Board Member.

“You were a great NJPSA President and Board member. You assumed those roles with great seriousness but your sense of humor never failed you.”

JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).